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SAN  FRANCISCO 

The  Bay  and  Its  Cities 


SAN  FRANCISCO 

THE  BAY  AND  ITS  CITIES 

THE  SUN  LIBRARY 


Compiled  by  Workers 

oj  the  Work  Projects  Administration 
in  Northern  California 


AMERICAN  GUIDE  SERIES 


I  LLU  STR ATED 


Sponsored  by  the  City  and  County  of  San  Francisco 
HASTINGS   HOUSE  •  Publishers  •  NEW  YORK 


MCM  X  L 


FIRST   PUBLISHED   IN    1940 


CALIFORNIA  STATE  DEPARTMENT  OF  EDUCATION 

Official  sponsor  of  the  Northern 
California  Writers'  Projects 

FEDERAL  WORKS  AGENCY 
JOHN  M.  CARMODY,  Administrator 

WORK  PROJECTS  ADMINISTRATION 

F.  C.  HARRINGTON,  Commissioner 

FLORENCE  KERR,  Assistant  Commissioner 

WILLIAM  R.  LAWSON,  Administrator  for  Northern  California 


COPYRIGHT    I94O  BY 

THE  CITY  AND  COUNTY  OF  SAN   FRANCISCO 
PRINTED  IN  THE   UNITED   STATES  OF  AMERICA 

All  rights  are  reserved,  including  the  rights  to  reproduce 
this  book  or  parts  thereof  in  any  form. 


KXZKZ^^^^ 


Preface 


So  many  books  have  been  written  about  San  Francisco  and  its  neigh- 
bor cities  around  San  Francisco  Bay  that  the  writing  of  still  another 
may  seem  to  call  for  explanation.  But  for  all  those  who  have  shared  in 
the  compilation  and  editing  of  this  book — research  workers,  reporters, 
writers,  editors,  and  supervisors  of  the  Northern  California  Writers' 
Project  in  San  Francisco  and  Oakland — it  needs  no  apology.  All 
throughout  the  long  labor  of  preparing  it  they  have  realized  only  too 
keenly  how  much  remains  to  be  written  about  a  city  whose  history  has 
been  the  stuff  of  legend  since  its  beginning — how  much  remained  before 
it  was  written  and  still  remains  afterward.  For  this  book,  although  we 
have  crowded  between  its  covers  uncounted  thousands  of  those  facts 
which  go  to  make  up  the  story  of  a  great  metropolitan  center — names 
and  dates,  descriptions  of  places  and  people,  tales  and  anecdotes  and  even 
some  myths — still  leaves  much  of  the  story  untold,  as  any  book  must. 
But  the  book  will  have  accomplished  its  purpose  if  what  it  leaves  unsaid 
the  reader  will  want  to  know. 

During  the  preparation  of  this  volume,  Margaret  Wilkins  acted  as 
State  Editorial  Supervisor,  Paul  Johnson  as  State  Research  Supervisor, 
and  Willis  Foster  as  Oakland  District  Supervisor.  Wallace  Boyle, 
Charles  Coppock,  S.  S.  Greenleaf,  and  Dorothy  Wagner  served  as  edi- 
tors; Juanita  Turner  and  Gordon  Williams  as  research  editors.  Al- 
though virtually  the  entire  San  Francisco,  Oakland,  and  San  Rafael 
staffs  shared  in  the  compilation  of  the  book,  the  writing  of  the  final 
manuscript  was  done  largely  by  Jackson  Barber,  Dean  Beshlich,  Marc 
Bliss,  Madeline  Gleason,  Gladys  Pittman,  Thomas  Ray,  Kenneth  Rex- 
roth,  and  Dorothy  Van  Ghent  of  the  San  Francisco  staff  and  Porter 
Chaffee,  Henry  Darnell,  Frances  Garoutte,  Howard  Hoffman,  Ethel 
Manning,  and  Thomas  Patterson  of  the  Oakland  staff.  Much  of  the 
section  "North  of  the  Bay"  is  the  work  of  Cora  Vernon  Lee,  Sacra- 
mento District  Supervisor.  We  are  indebted  for  the  essay  "Before  the 
Footlights"  to  Lawrence  Estavan,  Supervisor  of  the  History  of  the  San 
Francisco  Theater  Project.  The  index  was  compiled  by  Max  Loewen- 
thal  and  the  bibliography  by  W.  Stanley.  The  maps  were  prepared  by 


VI        PREFACE 

George  Hill  and  J.  H.  Marion  and  some  of  the  photographs  by  Theo- 
dore Baron,  James  Hall,  and  Howard  Hoffman  of  the  project  staff. 

For  their  generous  cooperation  in  reading  and  criticizing  various 
chapters,  we  are  particularly  indebted  to  Dr.  Herbert  E.  Bolton,  Chair- 
man, Department  of  History,  University  of  California ;  Alfred  Franken- 
stein, Music  and  Art  Editor,  San  Francisco  Chronicle;  Clyde  Healy, 
Assistant  City  Engineer,  San  Francisco;  Joseph  Henry  Jackson,  Book 
Editor,  San  Francisco  Chronicle;  Dr.  Alfred  L.  Kroeber,  Department 
of  Anthropology,  University  of  California;  Cornel  Lengyel,  Supervisor, 
History  of  Music  Project,  Work  Projects  Administration;  Charles 
Lindstrom,  Assistant  Curator,  San  Francisco  Museum  of  Art;  George 
Mullaney,  Director  of  Publications,  San  Francisco  Board  of  Education ; 
George  Pettit,  Assistant  to  the  President,  University  of  California ;  Dr. 
Frank  Fenton,  San  Francisco  State  College;  M.  Sprague,  Associate 
Meteorologist,  United  States  Weather  Bureau ;  Dr.  George  R.  Stewart, 
Jr.,  Associate  Professor  of  English,  University  of  California ;  Dr.  Theo- 
dore E.  Treutlein,  San  Francisco  State  College;  C.  M.  Wheeler,  Vice- 
President,  McCormick  Steamship  Company. 

We  are  extremely  grateful  for  the  assistance  provided  by  the  follow- 
ing librarians:  Robert  Rae  and  his  assistants,  Mary  A.  Byrne,  Jessica 
Fredericks,  Edith  Mau,  Elinor  Sturgis,  of  the  San  Francisco  Public 
Library;  Mary  O.  Carmody  and  Helen  Bryant  of  the  Mechanics'- 
Mercantile  Library;  Dr.  Herbert  Priestley  and  Edna  Parratt  of  the 
Bancroft  Library;  Richard  Taggert  of  the  University  of  California 
Library;  John  B.  Kaiser  and  Mabel  W.  Thomas  of  the  Oakland  Public 
Library ;  Susan  T.  Smith  of  the  Berkeley  Public  Library ;  Jane  I.  Curtis 
and  Theodora  T.  Larsen  of  the  Alameda  Public  Library ;  Mary  Barmby 
of  the  Alameda  County  Library;  Edith  Daley  of  the  San  Jose  Public 
Library ;  Virginia  Vail  of  the  Marin  County  Library ;  and  Jessie  A.  Lea 
of  the  Martinez  Public  Library.  We  also  are  grateful  to  the  librarians 
of  the  San  Francisco  Chronicle,  Marjorie  D.  Brown  and  Dorothy  M. 
Frisch;  of  the  San  Francisco  Call-Bulletin,  Stuart  Rasmussen;  of  the 
San  Francisco  Examiner,  Dwight  Newton,  for  their  help. 

Of  the  many  organizations  and  public  agencies  which  assisted  us,  we 
are  especially  indebted  to  the  Alameda  City  Clerk's  and  City  Auditor's 
offices;  Alameda  County  Development  Association;  California  Histori- 
cal Society;  California  State  Automobile  Association;  California  State 
Board  of  Education,  Board  of  Harbor  Commissioners,  Division  of 
Mines,  Fish  and  Game  Commission,  and  Park  Commission;  Cali- 
fornians,  Inc. ;  the  Chambers  of  Commerce  of  Alameda,  Berkeley,  Oak- 
land, San  Francisco,  San  Jose,  Santa  Rosa,  and  Sonoma;  Contra  Costa 
County  Development  Association ;  Marvelous  Marin,  Inc. ;  National 
Automobile  Club;  Northern  California  Hotel  Association;  Oakland 


PREFACE        Vll 

Park  Commission;  Pacific  Coast  Labor  Bureau;  Redwood  Empire  Asso- 
ciation; San  Francisco  City  and  County  Board  of  Education,  Board  of 
Health,  Assessor's  Office,  M.  H.  de  Young  Memorial  Museum,  Palace 
of  the  Legion  of  Honor,  Park  Commission,  Police  Department,  and 
Recreation  Commission ;  San  Francisco  Convention  and  Tourist  Bureau ; 
San  Francisco  Hotel  Association ;  Shell  Travel  Bureau ;  Society  of  Cali- 
fornia Pioneers ;  Southern  Pacific  News  Bureau ;  Standard  Oil  Company 
of  California;  United  States  Coast  and  Geodetic  Survey,  Department  of 
Agriculture,  National  Park  Service,  and  Travel  Bureau;  and  the  Wine 
Institute  of  California. 

For  special  assistance  we  are  indebted  to  Harris  Allen  of  the  Federal 
Housing  Authority;  Joseph  Allen,  State  Supervisor,  Northern  Cali- 
fornia Art  Project;  W.  N.  Burkhardt,  Editor-in-chief,  San  Francisco 
News;  Joseph  Gumming,  President,  Downtown  Association;  A.  C. 
Dearborn,  United  States  Travel  Bureau;  Ignatius  Dwyer,  Deputy 
Registrar  of  Voters,  City  and  County  of  San  Francisco;  Luisa  Vallejo 
Emparan;  William  A.  Gaw,  California  School  of  Fine  Arts;  Wanda 
Hannah;  G.  Lansing  Hurd,  Secretary,  Santa  Rosa  Chamber  of  Com- 
merce; Chingwah  Lee,  editor,  Chinese  Digest;  Major  Truman  Martin, 
Press  Relations  Officer,  Ninth  Corps  Area,  United  States  Army;  E.  P. 
Meadows,  Supervisor,  Project  10945,  Work  Projects  Administration; 
Irving  Morrow;  Laura  Bride  Powers;  Robert  Sibley,  Executive  Man- 
ager, Associated  Students  of  the  University  of  California;  Charles 
Stewart;  John  Swett,  Jr.;  Edward  van  Ribbink,  editor,  Oakland 
Tribune  Year  Book;  James  J.  Walsh;  Eric  Walter,  Assistant  Super- 
intendent, Golden  Gate  Park. 

WALTER  MCELROY,  State  Supervisor 


^^ 


Contents 


Page 

PREFACE  V 

LIST  OF  ILLUSTRATIONS xiii 

LIST  OF  MAPS xvii 

/.   Gateway  to  the  West 

THE  BAY  AND  THE  LAND 3 

The  Opening  of  the   Gate 4 

Earth  and  Water 6 

The  Climate 9 

Wild  Life 10 

A  FRONTIER  TO  CONQUER 13 

Natives  of  the  Country 14 

The  White  Men  Came l6 

Yankee  Invasion 21 

EMPORIUM  OF  A  NEW  WORLD ...  29 

World  Port 30 

Smokestacks  Around  the  Bay 35 

Engineering  Enterprise 4O 

GOLDEN  ERA 48 

Centers  of  Learning .  4° 

Argonauts  of  Letters 5& 

Art  and  Artists 65 

CALENDAR  OF  ANNUAL  EVENTS 75 

ix 


X        CONTENTS 

//.  "The  City" 

Page 

GENERAL  INFORMATION 81 

Hotel   and  Other  Accommodations 84 

Restaurants •  86 

Sports -  87 

Churches '      •       •'       •       •       •       -       •  9° 

SAN  FRANCISCANS:  1940 93 

THE  CITY'S  GROWTH 96 

The  Village  of  Yerba  Buena   (1835-1848)        .       .       •       •       •   .    •  9& 

Capital  of  the  Gold  Coast  (1848-1856)     ........  98 

Bonanza   (1856-1875) IO3 

Big  City   (1875-1906) 105 

Rising  Phoenix   (1906-1940) Jo8 

SAN  FRANCISCANS  AT  WORK 112 

Wall  Street  of  the  West H4 

Labor's  Thousands I2O 

SOCIAL  HERITAGE     .      .      .      .      . 127 

High  Life  and  Low  Life 127 

Before  the  Footlights 135 

Music  Makers 140 

San  Francisco  Goes  to  Church 145 

Gentlemen  of  the  Press I5O 

///.  Around  the  World  in  San  Francisco 

Civic  CENTER 161 

METROPOLITAN  SCENE 174 

LANDMARKS  OF  THE  OLD  TOWN 204 

CHINATOWN  .                                         220 


CONTENTS  XI 
Page 

LATIN  QUARTER:  TELEGRAPH  HILL  AND  NORTH  BEACH     .      .  236 

LORDS  OF  THE  HILLTOPS     ........      ...  252 

EMBARCADERO      ..............  260 

SOUTH  OF  MARKET  .      .      .  .    ..........  271 

WESTERN  ADDITION  .............  282 

RIM  OF  THE  GOLDEN  GATE     .      .      .      .      .....      .  304 

GOLDEN  GATE  PARK     ............  329 

IF.  Around  the  Bay 

THE  HARBOR  AND  ITS  ISLANDS     .........  357 

The  Farallones     .............  359 

Alcatraz  ...............  3^2 

Angel  Island         .............  364 

Yerba  Buena         .............  366 

Treasure  Island  ............. 


EAST  BAY:  CITIES  AND  BACK  COUNTRY  .......  371 

Oakland  ...............  375 

Berkeley  ...............  393 

Alameda         ..............  408 

East  Bay  Tour  1         .....       .......  414 

East  Bay  Tour  2         ...........       .  425 

NORTH  BAY  ...............  435 

North  Bay  Tour  .............  435 

DOWN  THE  PENINSULA  ............  460 

Peninsula  Tour    .............  461 

SAN  JOSE        .  .............  486 

V  '.  Appendices 

A  CHRONOLOGY  OF  THE  SAN  FRANCISCO  BAY  REGION     .      .      .  495 

A  SELECT  READING  LIST     ...........  501 

INDEX  .................  505 


Illustrations 


Page 
I.     BAY  REGION:  TODAY  AND  YESTERDAY  Between  44  and  45 


The  Bay  and  its  Cities 

Copyright,  Gabriel  Moulin 
Golden  Gate  Bridged  by  World's 
Tallest,  Longest  Span 

Courtesy  San  Francisco  Con- 
vention   and    Tourist    Bu- 
reau 
Peninsula  Cliffs 

Courtesy  San  Francisco  Pen- 
insula, Inc. 
Orchards  Carpet  the  Valleys 

Courtesy     Redwood     Empire 

Assn. 

Mount    Tamalpais    Looms    over 
Marin  County 

Courtesy   Marvelous   Marin, 

Inc. 
The  Presidio  in  1816 

Drawing  by  Louis  Choris 


Graveyard,  Mission  Dolores 

Northern  California  Writers' 

Project 

Northernmost  Mission  at  Sonoma 
(1824) 

Courtesy     Redwood     Empire 

Assn. 

Russian     Chapel     at     Fort     Ross 
(1812) 
Northern  California  Writers' 

Project 

Vallejo's  Casa  Grande  near  Peta- 
luma 

Courtesy     Redwood     Empire 

Assn. 

Pedro  Font's  Map  of  San  Fran- 
cisco Bay  (1777) 

Copyright,    Regents    of    Uni- 
versity of  California 


II.     INDUSTRY:  ARTS:  LEARNING 


Between  106  and  107 


Mural     by     Diego     Rivera,     San 
Francisco  Stock  Exchange 

Courtesy  San  Francisco  Mu- 
seum of  Art 

Golden  Gate  Bridge  Under  Con- 
struction 

Courtesy  Standard  Oil  Com- 
pany 

Water     and     Power     from     the 
Sierra:  O'Shaughnessy  Dam 
Courtesy    San    Francisco 

Water  Dept. 

Steamers  Drydocked  in  Oakland 
Courtesy     San     Francisco 

Chamber   of  Commerce 
Giant     Towers     Carry      165,000 
Volts   Across    Carquinez    Strait 
Courtesy     Pacific     Gas     and 
Electric  Company 


Oil  for  the  World  at  Point  Rich- 
mond 

Courtesy    San    Francisco 

Chamber  of  Commerce 
Sugar      Refining      at      Carquinez 
Strait 

Courtesy  C.  &  H.  Sugar  Re- 
fining Corp. 

Stanford  Chapel  from  the  Quad, 
Palo  Alto 

Courtesy    State    Chamber    of 

Commerce 

Mills  College  Art  Gallery,  Oak- 
land 

Courtesy  Mills  College 
Lick    Observatory    of    University 
of  California,  Mt.  Hamilton 
Courtesy   Californians  Inc. 


XIV       ILLUSTRATIONS 

II.     INDUSTRY:  ARTS:  LEARNING—  continued  Page 

Sather  Gate,   University  of   Cali-          Sun     Yat     Sen,     in     St.     Mary's 
fornia  Square — Memorial     by     Benia- 

Northern  California  Writers'  mino  Bufano 

Project  Northern  California  Writers' 

Project 


III.     SAN  FRANCISCO'S  BY-GONE  DAYS         Between  136  and  137 


American   Flag  Raised   at  Yerba 
Buena    (1846) 

Courtesy   Wells  Fargo  Bank 

&   Union   Trust  Company 
Yerba  Buena  Cove  Crowded  with 
Ships   (1849) 

Courtesy  Southern  Pacific 
Business  District  in  1852 

Courtesy  San  Francisco   Ex- 
aminer 

Execution     by     Second     Vigilance 
Committee    (1856) 

Courtesy   Wells  Fargo  Bank 

&   Union   Trust  Company 
Panorama  From  Russian  Hill 
Courtesy  George  Fanning 
Abandoned   Ships   on  Waterfront 
Prior  to  1851 

Copyright,  Martin  Behrman 
The  First  Cable  Train  (1873) 

Courtesy  J.  W.  Harris 
Shipbuilding     South     of     Rincon 
Point   (1865) 

Courtesy  Southern  Pacific 


Greenwich  Street  Cable  Car 
Climbing  Telegraph  Hill 
(1884) 

Martin  Behrman   Collection 
Vallejo    Street    Wharf    in    Early 
Sixties 

Courtesy  Southern  Pacific 
Cliff  House  (1866) 

Courtesy  Southern  Pacific 
Barbary  Coast  (1914) 

Courtesy  James  Hall 
Great     Fire     of     1906:     Looking 
Down   Kearny    Street   Toward 
Market 

Courtesy    San    Francisco 

Chronicle 
Aftermath  of  the  Great  Fire 

Courtesy    San    Francisco 

Chronicle 

Ruins  of  Old  St.  Mary's  Church 
(1906) 

Courtesy     Old     St.     Mary's 
Church 


IV.    DOWNTOWN 

City  Hall 

Northern  California  Writers' 

Project 
Exposition  Auditorium 

Courtesy    U.   S.    Travel  Bu- 
reau 

San  Francisco's  Jagged  Terraces 
from  the  Bay 

Copyright,  Gabriel  Moulin 
Skyline  from  a  Sky  Window 

Courtesy     Redwood     Empire 

Assn. 
Market  Street  at  5:15 

Northern  California  Writers' 
Project 


Between  198  and  199 

Labor    Day    Parade    up    Market 
Street 

Courtesy    San    Francisco 

Chronicle 

A  Five  Minute  Walk  from  Busi- 
ness District 

Northern  California  Writers' 

Project 
Four-Fifty    Sutter    Building    and 

Sir  Francis  Drake  Hotel 
Portsmouth  Plaza 

Courtesy     Redwood     Empire 
Assn. 


ILLUSTRATIONS       XV 


IV.     DOWNTOWN— continued 
Montgomery  Block 

Northern    California   Art 
Project 


Page 

Monument  to  Robert  Louis   Ste- 
venson, in  Portsmouth  Plaza 
Courtesy   Calif ornians  Inc. 


V.    STREET  SCENES 

California  Street  Still  Challenges 
the  Cable  Car 

Courtesy    State    Chamber    of 

Commerce 

Chinese  New  Year  Celebration 
Northern  California  Writers' 

Project 

Chinese  Children  at  Thanksgiving 
Playground  Party 

Courtesy  San  Francisco  Rec- 
reation Commission 
Grant  Avenue 

Northern  California  Writers' 

Project 
Fisherman's  Wharf 

Courtesy  San  Francisco  Con- 
vention and  Tourist  Bu- 
reau 


Between  260  and  261 

Fisherman's  Wharf 

Courtesy   Californians  Inc. 
SS.  Peter  and  Paul  Church 

Northern  California  Writers' 

Project 

Pacific  Union  Club,  Mark  Hop- 
kins and  Fairmont  Hotels  on 
Nob  Hill 

Octagonal  House  on  Russian 
Hill,  built  in  1854 

Northern   California  Art 

Project 
Pacific  Heights 

Northern  California  Writers' 

Project 

Telegraph  Hill  from  the  Precipi- 
tous Side 

Northern  California  Writers' 
Project 


VI.    THE  CITY'S  SIGHTS 

Ferry  Building  and  Boats 

Courtesy  Southern  Pacific 
Ships  at  Dock 

Northern    California  Art 

Project 
Highway  and  Ocean  Beach 

Courtesy     Redwood     Empire 

Assn. 

Panama  Pacific  International  Ex- 
position   (1915) 

Courtesy     Redwood     Empire 

Assn. 

Sutro  Heights 
Aquatic  Park 

Courtesy  San  Francisco  Con- 
vention and  Tourist  Bu- 
reau 

M.  H.  De  Young  Memorial  Mu- 
seum, Golden  Gate  Park 

Northern  California  Writers' 
Project 


Between  322  and  323 

Mission  Dolores 

Courtesy  Californians  Inc. 
Carpenters'  Gothic 

Northern    California   Art 

Project 
Bay  Windows  Catch  the  Sun 

Northern    California   Art 

Project 

The  Pride  of  Antiquarians  (En- 
gine Company  No.  15 — 2150 
California  Street) 

Northern  California  Writers' 

Project 

U.  S.  S.  California  in  Drydock  at 
Hunter's  Point 

Courtesy  State  Board  of  Har- 
bor Commissioners 
Sea  Island  Sugar  Refinery 

Courtesy    Sea    Island    Sugar 
Company 


XVI       ILLUSTRATIONS 


VII.    ACROSS  THE  BAY 

Pacified,  Goddess  of  Two  Expo- 
sitions— Sculpture  by  Ralph 
Stackpole 

Courtesy  Golden  Gate  Inter- 
national Exposition 
Clipper   in   Flight   over  Treasure 
Island 

Clyde  H.  Sunderland  Photo 
Fountain     of     Western     Waters, 
Golden  Gate  Exposition 

Courtesy  Golden  Gate  Inter- 
national Exposition 
Evening  Star,  in  the  Court  of  the 
Moon 

Courtesy  Golden  Gate  Inter- 
national Exposition 
Oakland    Business    District    from 
Lake  Merritt 

Courtesy    Oakland    Post-En- 
quirer 
Oakland 

Courtesy    State    Chamber    of 
Commerce 


VIII.    NORTH  AND  SOUTH  OF 

From  Skyline  Boulevard  the  Hills 
Unfold  to  the  Sea 

Courtesy  San  Francisco  Pen- 
insula Inc. 

Montalvo  Foundation  of  San 
Francisco  Art  Association  near 
Saratoga 

Courtesy  Montalvo   Founda- 
tion 

Skyline  Dam  and  Boulevard  at 
Crystal  Springs  Lakes 

Courtesy  San  Francisco  Pen- 
insula Inc. 
Pigeon  Point  Lighthouse 

Courtesy  San  Francisco  Pen- 
insula Inc. 

Raccoon  Strait  from  Sausalito, 
Marin  Countv 

Courtesy     Redwood     Empire 
Assn. 


Page 

Between  416  and  417 
University    of    California    in    the 
Seventies 

Courtesy    Odkland    Post-En- 
quirer 

Airview,  University  of  California 
Courtesy    State    Chamber    of 

Commerce 

Oakland    Long   Wharf,    Built   in 
1871 

Courtesy  Southern  Pacific 
Oakland     Wharf     Terminal     of 
Central  Pacific  (1878) 

Courtesy  Southern  Pacific 
Big     Wheeled     Newark      (1877- 
1921) 

Courtesy  Southern  Pacific 
Home     of     Derelicts — Ships     and 
Human   Beings 

Howard   B.    Hoffman   Photo 

Mission   San  Jose   de   Guadalupe 

Northern  California  Writers' 

Project 

Vineyard  in   Livemore  Valley 
Courtesy  Wine  Institute 

THE  GOLDEN  GATE 

Between  478  and  479 
Muir    Woods     National     Monu- 
ment,   Marin   County 

Courtesy     Redwood     Empire 

Assn. 

In  Petrified  Forest  near  Calistoga 
Courtesy     Redwood     Empire 

Assn. 
Russian  River  Playground 

Courtesy     Redwood     Empire 

Assn. 
State  Capitol    (1853),  Benicia 

Northern  California  Writers' 

Project 

Home  of  Luther  Burbank,  Santa 
Rosa 

Courtesy     Redwood     Empire 

Assn. 

Dirigible  Hangar,  Moffett  Field, 
Sunnyvale 

Courtesy   San   Jose    Chamber 
of  Commerce 


mSBXS®^^ 


Map. 


Page 
TOUR  KEY  MAP,  VICINITY  OF  SAN  FRANCISCO  ....      158-59 

SAN  FRANCISCO'S  Civic  CENTER 166 

DOWNTOWN   SAN   FRANCISCO    .      . 181 

CHINATOWN  AND  OLD  TOWN 210 

LATIN  QUARTER  AND  HILLTOPS 244 

SAN  FRANCISCO  KEY  MAP 267 

PRESIDIO, 287 

GOLDEN  GATE  PARK 336 

EAST  BAY  KEY  MAP 372-373 

UNIVERSITY  OF  CALIFORNIA 403 

STANFORD  UNIVERSITY  AND  VICINITY 474 


xvu 


xzxxxxx<<&^^^ 

PART  I 
Gateway  to  the  West 

•&<&&^^^^^ 


The  Bay  and  the  Land 

".  .  .  an   immense   arm    of   the   sea,    or   an    estuary,   which   pene- 
trated into  the  land  as  far  as  the  eye  could  reach  .  .  ." 

— PADRE  JUAN  CRESPI 


WHEN  the  first  settlers,  led  by  Lieutenant  Jose  Joaquin  Moraga, 
arrived  June  27,  1776,  on  the  site  of  San  Francisco,  the  Amer- 
ican people  were  yet  to  declare  themselves  a  Nation — though 
within  seven  days  they  would  do  so,  3,000  miles  away  on  the  Atlantic 
seaboard.  Seven  decades  would  pass  before  the  heirs  of  '76  would  raise 
their  flag  on  this  site.  Two  years  more,  and  the  name  of  San  Francisco 
would  go  round  the  world. 

It  "never  was  a  village" — this  had  been  its  proud  boast.  Where 
barren  sand  dunes,  marshes,  and  brackish  lagoons  had  surrounded  an 
abandoned  mission  and  a  decaying  fort  with  rusty  cannon,  San  Francisco 
sprang  into  life  overnight — a  lusty,  brawling  he-man  town  of  tents  and 
deserted  ships.  Business,  mushroomlike,  flourished  in  mud-deep  streets. 
Almost  before  it  had  achieved  a  corporate  identity,  San  Francisco  was  a 
metropolis— to  be  named  in  the  same  breath  with  Boston  or  Buenos 
Aires,  Stockholm  or  Shanghai. 

When  the  other  cities  of  the  Coast  were  still  hamlets  in  forest  clear- 
ings or  desert  cow-towns,  San  Francisco  was  "The  City."  It  is  "The 
City"  still.  Massed  on  the  tip  of  its  Peninsula,  its  skyscrapers  tower 
skyward  from  the  peaks  of  the  highest  hills:  great  shafts  of  concrete 
banked  in  swirling  billows  of  white  mist  when  the  fogs  move  in  from 
the  sea — glittering  with  pinpoints  of  reflected  light  from  their  countless 
windows  when  the  sun  shines  from  a  clear  blue  sky.  Crowding  on  each 
other,  the  hills  rear  their  endless  terraces  of  buildings,  descending  to  the 
water's  edge  like  steps,  cleft  by  streets  that  strike  up  the  steepest  slopes 
and  plunge  down  the  deepest  valleys  with  reckless  fidelity  to  their 
straight  and  narrow  paths. 

Around  the  curving  Peninsula's  tip  jut  widespread  fingers  that  are 
piers  harboring  their  great  ships.  Soaring  to  heights  greater  than  the 
hilltop  skyscrapers,  the  girders  of  the  bridge  towers  lift  their  slim  steel 
spans  high  above  the  smokestacks  of  passing  ships.  Over  their  suspended 
roadbeds  traffic  streams  across  the  racing  tides  of  the  Golden  Gate  to 
the  bluffs  and  thicket-choked  gullies  of  the  Marin  shore  and  across  the 
Bay's  wide  sweep  of  gray-green  water  to  the  mainland.  There,  on  the 

3 


4  SAN     FRANCISCO 

eastern  shores  of  the  Bay,  rising  like  the  tiers  of  a  vast  amphitheater  to 
wooded  crests,  spread  mile  after  mile  of  buildings — homes  and  schools, 
business  blocks  and  factories.  And  on  every  side  the  age-old  hills — vivid 
with  the  green  of  fresh-growing  grass  after  winter  rains,  sere  and  brown 
in  summer — encircle  the  blue  water :  wilderness  neighbor  to  the  city. 

THE  OPENING  OF  THE  GATE 

If  some  titanic  convulsion  of  the  earth  were  to  drain  San  Francisco 
Bay  of  all  its  waters,  it  would  look  merely  like  one  of  those  shallow, 
hill-rimmed  valleys  which  stretch  away  from  its  upper  and  lower 
reaches.  Through  a  gap  in  the  chain  of  hills  along  its  eastern  edge,  a 
great  river  would  pour  into  its  upper  end  and,  winding  southward,  flood 
out  to  sea  through  a  deep  gorge  hollowed  in  the  coastal  range.  Within 
the  recent  geologic  past  the  Bay  was  just  such  a  valley,  the  Golden  Gate 
such  a  river  canyon.  But  as  time  went  on,  the  valley  sank  until  ocean 
waters  came  flooding  through  the  Gate  to  submerge  all  but  the  peaks 
of  its  hills.  Last  of  all  in  the  long  series  of  the  earth's  transformations 
from  which  emerged  that  part  of  the  planet  known  as  California  was 
the  Bay's  creation.  But  the  geologic  upheavals  destined  to  open  the 
Golden  Gate  had  begun  long  before. 

West  of  today's  Pacific  shore,  perhaps  500  million  years  ago,  rose  a 
land  mass  extending  into  what  is  now  the  Pacific  Ocean.  Where  the 
Sierra  Nevada  now  rises  is  thought  to  have  been  a  low  land  mass, 
lapped  on  the  Nevada  side  by  an  inland  sea.  As  the  eons  passed,  this 
great  basin  sea  advanced  westward  into  California,  retreated  and  ad- 
vanced again,  until  by  200  million  years  ago  it  may  have  reached  as  far 
as  the  site  of  Monterey — well  over  toward  that  westward-lying  coast 
along  the  ocean. 

Eventually  the  ocean  itself  found  its  way  into  the  watery  area  that 
later  was  to  become  California.  The  western  land  mass  probably  was 
cut  off  from  the  mainland,  forming  an  elongated  island  of  which  the 
present  Farallon  Islands  were  a  part.  Eastward  lay  a  submerged  trough, 
and  into  this  trough  sediment  was  continually  draining  from  the  island's 
slopes.  To  the  incredible  depth  of  over  three  miles  the  sediment  was 
laid  down  in  the  water,  slowly  solidifying.  From  this  trough  was  later 
elevated  the  San  Francisco  Peninsula,  its  foundations  partly  composed 
of  the  thick  deposits  which  drained  from  the  westward  island. 

And  then  began  that  long  series  of  geologic  events  which  finally  re- 
sulted in  the  emergence  of  the  coastline  of  California.  Between  120  and 
150  million  years  ago  the  ridges  of  both  the  Coast  Range  and  the  Sierra 
Nevada  were  pushed  up.  Unlike  the  Sierra  Nevada,  which  was  to 
maintain  its  general  structure  despite  erosion,  the  Coast  Range  rose  from 
the  inland  sea -only  to  sink  again.  At  least  three  times  the  ocean  en- 


THE     BAY     AND     THE     LAND  5 

gulfed  the  region  between  the  Sierra  Nevada  and  the  westward  island 
and  advanced  to  the  foothills  of  the  Sierra  Nevada. 

At  a  point  about  36  million  years  ago,  the  picture  of  California 
begins  to  emerge  in  clearer  detail.  On  the  eastern  border  is  the  wall  of 
the  Sierra,  following  about  the  same  direction  as  in  the  twentieth  cen- 
tury, but  lower,  less  rugged,  its  slopes  covered  with  luxuriant  vegetation. 
Still  under  water,  the  center  of  the  State  is  a  great  inland  sound,  extend- 
ing far  enough  westward  to  submerge  the  site  of  San  Francisco.  A  long 
island  stretches  northwest  from  the  present  vicinity  of  Salinas.  Islands 
are  scattered  in  the  sound. 

For  many  million  years  the  geography  of  this  California  changed 
little;  but  great  activity  was  brewing  in  the  earth.  Far  offshore  the 
bottom  of  the  sea  was  sinking.  As  it  sank,  the  land  along  the  coast  was 
thrust  upwards,  buckling  under  the  pressure.  All  of  California  was 
rising,  but  the  extra  thrust  upon  its  western  edge  caused  a  slip  along 
which  occurred  a  sidewise  movement  of  at  least  700  feet  and  possibly 
as  much  as  20  miles.  Along  this  same  fault,  extending  from  Point 
Arena  south  to  the  Mojave  Desert,  there  was  to  be  a  shift  of  about  eight 
feet  in  the  year  A.D.  1906,  which  would  cause  a  great  disturbance  in 
the  city  of  San  Francisco.  (Because  the  rock  mass  is  broken  along  the 
fault,  any  abnormal  strain  within  the  earth  is  apt  to  be  taken  up  there; 
such  movements  occur  frequently,  but  rarely  displace  the  surface  more 
than  two-tenths  of  an  inch.)  The  same  thrusts  that  were  to  cause  the 
San  Francisco  Peninsula's  earthquake  fault  also  helped  to  lift  it  above 
the  sea.  There  was  pronounced  folding  of  the  Coast  Range  at  this 
time,  not  only  on  the  Peninsula,  but  along  the  line  of  the  Berkeley  Hills. 

About  one  million  years  ago  the  Great  Valley  was  becoming  filled 
with  sediment.  Brackish  water  still  covered  part  of  the  valley;  it 
drained,  not  through  the  Golden  Gate,  which  did  not  yet  exist,  but 
through  various  other  outlets;  one  at  the  Russian  River  and  another  at 
Monterey  Bay.  The  San  Francisco-Marin  area  probably  was  separated 
from  the  mainland  by  marshes,  so  shallow  that  they  could  be  crossed  by 
the  primitive  elephant  (whose  fossils  have  been  found  near  Menlo 
Park).  The  last  great  uplift  raised  the  Sierra  Nevada  Range  to  a  height 
of  4,000  feet  above  its  present  elevation ;  the  Coast  Range  shared  in  this 
uplift. 

Most  recent  of  California's  important  geological  events  have  been 
those  which  formed  San  Francisco  Bay  and  the  Golden  Gate.  As  the 
marshes  along  the  coast  and  farther  inland  dried,  continued  folding  in 
the  Coast  Range  blocked  off  the  drainage  of  the  Great  Valley  through 
the  Russian  River  and  Monterey  Bay,  forcing  the  rivers  to  find  another 
outlet.  They  converged  in  a  new  course  through  a  canyon  north  of  the 
Berkeley  Hills  at  what  is  now  Carquinez  Strait,  thence  down  through  a 


6  SAN     FRANCISCO 

valley,   and  finally  through  the  mountains  that  extended   up  the   San 
Francisco  Peninsula  and  northward  into  Marin  County. 

However  solid  the  earth  may  have  seemed  beneath  the  feet  of  the 
first  human  inhabitants  when  they  came  (probably  between  30  and  40 
centuries  ago)  to  hunt  game  and  pick  wild  fruit  in  the  coastal  valley 
behind  the  river's  mouth,  it  was  sinking  imperceptibly.  The  sea  cliffs  to 
the  west  were  tilting  upward  on  their  outer  side;  but  every  year  the 
floor  of  the  coastal  valley  was  a  little  lower.  As  fast  as  the  sea  cliffs 
rose,  the  river  scoured  deeper  its  channel  through  them,  thus  gradually 
carving  down  the  sides  of  the  Golden  Gate.  Then  finally  came  a  time 
when  the  floor  of  the  coastal  valley  sank  beneath  sea  level.  The  ocean 
flooded  through  the  mouth  of  the  river  over  400  square  miles  of  the 
Indians'  hunting  ground.  The  land  would  go  on  sinking  until  the  very 
shell  mounds  which  the  first  settlers  left  behind  them  on  dry  land  were 
lapped  by  the  tides;  and  yet  as  it  sank,  the  rivers  would  lay  down  their 
rich  silt,  torn  from  mountain  sides  and  lowlands  of  the  Central  Valley 
basin,  over  the  bottom  of  the  Bay.  So  was  made,  for  how  long  no  one 
can  tell,  the  harbor  known  today  as  San  Francisco  Bay. 

EARTH  AND  WATER 

Midway  in  the  great  chain  of  mountain  ridges  that  stretches  along 
the  continent's  edge  down  the  southeast-tending  California  coast  is  a 
narrow  gap.  Between  its  steep  headlands  the  long  Pacific  rollers,  break- 
ing in  spray  against  the  cliffs  to  north  and  south,  pour  in  swift  tides. 
As  the  headlands  recede  on  either  side,  an  expanse  of  water  opens  out, 
stretching  eastward  to  low,  gently  sloping  hills.  To  the  north,  wooded 
peaks  rise  steeply  above  bluffs  close  at  hand;  to  the  northeast,  barren 
capes  guard  a  distant  strait.  Southward  a  sheet  of  water  extends  farther 
than  a  man  can  see,  between  marsh-edged  flat  lands.  Here,  where  ocean 
tides  roll  in  over  a  valley  long  sunk  below  sea  level,  salt  water  mingles 
with  fresh,  is  muddied  with  the  yellow  silt  of  rivers,  pouring  into  the 
Bay's  upper  reaches.  At  either  end,  sloping  valleys  walled  like  the  Bay 
between  ranges  of  hills  that  parallel  each  other,  east  and  west,  spill  their 
creeks  into  it.  Among  the  encircling  hills,  sloughs  and  canyons  twist  to 
the  water's  edge. 

So  well  hidden  from  the  sea  beyond  its  narrow  gateway  by  moun- 
tainous coastal  walls  that  exploring  navigators  passed  it  by  for  more 
than  two  centuries,  San  Francisco  Bay  is  one  of  the  world's  largest 
landlocked  harbors.  Measured  along  a  straight  line  from  the  mouth  of 
Sonoma  Creek  in  the  north  to  the  mouth  of  Coyote  Creek  in  the  south, 
it  is  approximately  60  miles  long  and  measures  14  miles  at  its  greatest 
width.  Its  outlet  to  the  sea,  the  Golden  Gate,  is  three  miles  long  and, 
at  its  widest  point,  a  mile  wide.  In  all,  the  Bay  covers  an  area  of  a 


THE     BAY     AND     THE     LAND  7 

little  more  than  400  square  miles.  Although  more, than  70  per  cent  of 
its  area  is  less  than  18  feet  deep,  it  reaches  a  depth  of  from  100  to  140 
feet  in  its  central  part  and  of  357  feet  in  the  main  channel  of  the 
Golden  Gate.  North  of  its  narrowest  point,  the  strait  between  Points 
San  Pedro  and  San  Pablo — where  it  is  known  as  San  Pablo  Bay — the 
water  is  shallower. 

Into  San  Pablo  Bay  empties  the  drainage  of  the  valleys  to  the  north 
and  the  hinterland  to  the  east.  Petaluma,  Sonoma,  and  Napa  Creeks 
pour  in  from  the  north.  Through  narrow  Carquinez  Strait,  six  miles 
long,  joining  San  Pablo  Bay  with  shallow  Suisun  Bay  to  the  east,  pour 
the  combined  waters  of  California's  two  great  rivers,  the  Sacramento 
and  the  San  Joaquin,  which  drain  the  Central  Valley  and  the  Sierra 
Nevada's  western  slopes.  The  gorge  cut  by  the  silt-laden  river  waters, 
winding  out  to  sea  through  the  succession  of  bays  and  straits,  can  be 
traced  by  the  yellow  stream  that  crosses  the  Bay's  blue  ripples.  The 
river's  ancient  delta,  built  up  through  the  ages  before  the  ocean  broke 
through  the  Golden  Gate,  has  been  traced  as  far  out  to  sea  as  the 
Farallon  Islands,  23  miles  off  Point  Bonita. 

The  peaks  of  low  hills  once  rising  from  the  drowned  valley's  floor 
are  islands  now.  Opposite  the  Golden  Gate,  rocky  Alcatraz  (130  alt.) 
rises  abruptly  from  the  swift  tides.  Northward,  divided  by  narrow 
straits  from  the  coves  and  inlets  of  the  Marin  shore,  rise  green-clad 
Angel  (782  alt.)  and  Belvedere  (350  alt.).  A  little  to  the  southeast 
the  rugged  hump  of  Yerba  Buena  (343  alt.)  appears  almost  midway 
across  the  Bay. 

From  opposite  sides  of  the  Golden  Gate  the  sheer  bluffs  at  land's  end 
of  the  San  Francisco  and  Marin  Peninsulas  face  each  other.  The 
narrow  hilly  strip  of  the  San  Francisco  Peninsula  stretches  30  miles 
southward  from  the  Golden  Gate  between  Bay  and  ocean,  tapering  in 
width  from  7  miles  at  its  tip  to  approximately  21  where  it  merges  with 
the  mainland.  On  the  Bay  side  it  is  bordered  with  mud  flats  and  salt 
marshes;  on  the  ocean,  with  rugged  cliffs  and  sandy  beaches.  The  tip 
of  the  Peninsula,  walled  off  from  the  south  by  the  steep  narrow  ridge  of 
San  Bruno  Mountain  (1,315  alt.),  is  a  rough  square  with  jagged  out- 
lines, scored  haphazardly  by  rocky  hills  and  winding  valleys,  once  a 
rolling  waste  of  sand  dunes  and  marsh-girt  lagoons.  In  the  center  of 
this  area  rises  a  dominant  crescent-shaped  range,  culminating  in  Twin 
Peaks  (904  alt.),  Mount  Davidson  (916  alt.),  and  Mount  Sutro  (909 
alt.).  Southward  spreads  a  zone  of  billowing  hills,  merging  into  San 
Bruno  Mountain.  Beyond  troughlike  Merced  Valley,  cutting  from 
Bay  to  ocean  parallel  with  San  Bruno  Mountain,  the  Peninsula  is 
scored  with  parallel  ridges  running  north  and  south — among  them, 
Buriburi  Ridge  (700  alt.),  the  Sawyer  Ridge  (about  1,200  alt.),  and 
Montara  Mountain  (1,952  alt.).  Between  the  Buriburi  and  Sawyer 


8  SAN     FRANCISCO 

Ridges  lies  a  1 5-mile- long  segment  of  the  San  Andreas  Rift  Valley, 
following  the  course  of  the  San  Andreas  earthquake  fault.  Farther 
south  the  Santa  Cruz  Mountains,  of  which  these  Peninsula  ridges  are 
the  northern  offshoots,  lift  their  wooded  slopes  to  greater  heights.  Some 
80  miles  from  the  tip  of  the  San  Francisco  Peninsula  they  taper  off  into 
low  hills  where  Monterey  Bay  cuts  its  crescent  line  into  the  coast. 

The  Golden  Gate  is  but  a  narrow  break  in  the  great  mountain  chain 
of  the  Coast  Range,  which  continues  northwest  up  the  Marin  Peninsula 
under  the  name  of  the  Bolinas  Ridge.  An  irregularly  shaped,  deeply 
and  intricately  dissected  mountain  mass,  the  Marin  Peninsula  is  criss- 
crossed by  ridges  radiating  from  its  highest  point,  at  the  southern  end 
of  the  Bolinas  Ridge — Mount  Tamalpais  (2,604  alt.).  The  deep 
canyons  that  scar  the  flanks  of  the  ridges  widen  into  gently  sloping 
valleys  merging  with  salt  marshes  on  the  Bay  side;  on  the  ocean  side 
they  twist  tortuously  to  the  sea,  where  the  hillsides  end  abruptly  in 
sheer  cliffs.  Paralleling  the  Bolinas  Ridge  on  the  west  is  the  long 
narrow  valley  which  follows  the  course  of  the  San  Andreas  fault.  Its 
northern  reaches  are  filled  with  the  waters  of  marsh-bordered  Tomales 
Bay,  extending  southeastward  like  a  thin  finger,  laid  along  a  line  as 
straight  as  if  it  had  been  sheared  off  with  a  knife.  To  the  west,  hilly, 
triangular  Point  Reyes  Peninsula  juts  into  the  ocean  like  a  plowshare, 
sheltering  behind  its  long  promontory  curving  Drake's  Bay  with  its 
white-faced  cliffs  like  the  chalk  cliffs  at  Dover.  East  of  the  Marin 
Peninsula's  hilly  mass  the  flat  reaches  of  Sonoma  and  Napa  Valleys 
merge  into  tule  marshes  at  the  Bay's  edge,  divided  from  each  other  by 
the  gentle  slopes  of  the  mountains. 

Along  the  Bay's  eastern  shore,  beyond  the  narrow  coastal  plain, 
stretches  the  serrated  skyline  of  the  Berkeley  Hills,  culminating  in  Bald 
Peak  (1,930  alt.)  ;  and  behind,  across  a  line  of  narrow,  shallow  valleys, 
rise  the  rugged  crests  of  a  parallel  ridge  culminating  in  Rocky  Ridge 
(2,000  alt.).  To  the  east,  broad  flat  Ygnacio  Valley  extends  north  to 
the  shores  of  Suisun  Bay  and  south  into  the  narrow,  level  San  Ramon 
Valley.  From  the  valley's  edge  steep  slopes  rise  in  long  sweeping  lines 
to  the  summit  of  Mount  Diablo  (3,849  alt.).  To  the  south,  San 
Ramon  Valley  meets  narrow,  4O-mile-long  Livermore  Valley.  Beyond, 
the  ridges  of  the  Mount  Diablo  Range  extend  to  meet  the  Mount  Ham- 
ilton Range,  paralleling  the  Peninsula  ridges  and  the  Santa  Cruz  Moun- 
tains across  the  Bay. 

South  of  the  Bay's  southern  tip,  the  fertile  plains  of  the  Santa  Clara 
Valley  extend  for  70  miles  between  the  walls  of  the  Mount  Hamilton 
(4,029  alt.)  Range  and  the  Santa  Cruz  Mountains,  15  miles  apart — a 
long,  narrow  extension  of  that  same  valley  whose  upper  reaches,  now 
submerged,  are,  the  Bay  itself.  From  the  marshes  of  the  Bay's  southern 


THE     BAY     AND     THE     LAND  9 

end,  the  valley  floor  slopes  upward  gradually  toward  the  south,  where 
offshoots  of  the  two  mountain  ranges  curve  inward  and  enclose  it. 


THE  CLIMATE 

The  Bay  of  San  Francisco  and  its  shores  share  with  the  rest  of  the 
Coast  the  moderate  climate  which  it  owes  chiefly  to  the  prevailing  winds 
off  the  Pacific.  Because  of  the  break  in  the  coast  line  the  region  has  a 
climate  even  milder  than  enjoyed  elsewhere  along  the  Coast,  because  it 
receives  more  than  its  share  of  ocean-cooled  air  currents,  sucked  in  by 
forced  draft  through  the  Golden  Gate.  Their  deflection  in  various 
directions  by  the  hills  gives  contingent  sections  widely  differing  weather. 

At  the  tip  of  the  San  Francisco  Peninsula,  the  mean  annual  tem- 
perature is  56.4°  F. ;  the  mean  temperature  of  the  coldest  month, 
January,  is  50°  F.  and  of  the  warmest  month,  September,  61.5°  F.  But 
just  northward  across  the  Gate,  mean  temperatures  are  approximately 
five  degrees  lower  in  winter  and  five  degrees  higher  in  summer.  Cold 
months  are  likewise  colder  and  warm  ones  warmer  on  the  eastern  side 
of  the  Bay  and  down  the  Peninsula.  The  average  annual  rainfall  at 
Kentfield  in  Marin  County,  less  than  15  miles  north  of  the  Gate,  is 
more  than  twice  that  of  San  Francisco — 45.33  inches  as  against  21.85 
inches.  South  of  the  city,  rainfall  decreases  progressively,  reaching  an 
average  of  15  inches  at  San  Jose. 

Although  the  tip  of  the  San  Francisco  Peninsula  enjoys  sunshine  for 
an  average  of  66  per  cent  of  all  the  daylight  hours  in  the  year,  it  has 
acquired  a  more  celebrated  reputation  for  its  fogs.  They  are  of  two 
principal  varieties.  Tule  fog,  a  winter  phenomenon,  consists  of  low- 
hanging  clouds  of  condensed  vapor  which  drift  about  the  Bay  in  serpen- 
tine fashion,  sometimes  blanketing  completely  one  section  of  city  or  Bay 
while  another  is  bright  with  sunlight.  Most  prevalent  is  the  white  fog 
which  forms  off  the  headlands  on  either  side  of  the  Golden  Gate  and 
drifts  inland  as  the  temperature  rises  inland  in  the  warm  valley  section 
of  the  State.  This  fog  forms  in  huge  blankets,  averaging  about  1,700 
feet  thick,  sometimes  shrouding  the  entire  tip  of  the  Peninsula  and 
spreading  across  the  Bay  to  its  eastern  shore. 

The  Bay  region,  like  most  of  the  California  coast,  knows  two  seasons 
— the  wet  and  the  dry — and  throughout  much  of  the  area  the  difference 
in  average  temperatures  between  them  is  seldom  more  than  ten  degrees. 
Even  this  slight  difference  is  usually  nullified  by  cooling  breezes  off  the 
ocean  which  take  the  sting  out  of  summer  heat.  At  the  tip  of  the  San 
Francisco  Peninsula  early  autumn  is  actually  warmer  than  summer — 
for  summer  is  the  season  of  fogs.  Only  the  rains,  which  come  between 
October  and  May,  call  more  than  momentary  attention  to  the  change 
in  seasons. 


IO         SAN     FRANCISCO 

The  temperature,  rainfall,  and  even  the  winds  follow  predictable 
cycles,  permitting  residents  to  fall  into  a  pattern  of  adaptations,  less 
pronounced  than  those  required  by  four  seasons,  but  quite  as  regular. 
The  weather's  summer  schedule  is  particularly  dependable.  A  San 
Franciscan  knows,  almost  to  a  certainty,  that  he  will  waken  on  a  July 
morning  in  a  world  of  light,  bright  fog  and  little  wind.  By  noon  the 
sun  will  be  shining,  and  still  will  shine  at  midafternoon,  though  pres- 
ently it  will  be  hidden  by  the  billows  of  white  vapor  that  tumble  over 
the  hills  and  through  the  Gate.  Within  an  hour  a  stiff  salt  breeze  will 
be  driving  this  fog,  like  a  band  of  frantic  wraiths,  through  hills  and 
valleys;  but  the  wind  will  be  dying  and  the  fog  dispersing  by  half  past 
seven.  With  the  lengthening  of  night  will  come  a  softness,  lightness, 
and  clarity  in  the  air  which  makes  sleep  seem  a  dullard's  habit. 

WILD  LIFE 

Simple  and  clear  was  the  pattern  of  vegetation  around  San  Fran- 
cisco Bay  before  the  coming  of  the  white  man.  Along  the  coast,  in  the 
region  of  greatest  winter  rain  and  heaviest  summer  fog,  were  the  red- 
wood forests,  extending  almost  without  interruption  from  southern 
Oregon  to  San  Francisco  Bay  and  continuing  south  in  canyons  and  other 
fog  traps  to  the  coast  below  Carmel.  The  grass  and  oak  savannah 
extended  eastward  to  the  Sacramento  Valley  and  along  the  floors  of  the 
principal  inter-mountain  valleys  of  the  Coast  Range.  A  thicket  of  low- 
growing  chaparral  clothed  the  interior  ranges  and  the  dry  southern 
slopes.  Fringing  the  Bay  were  marshes  choked  with  tule  rushes. 

Conspicuous  changes  have  taken  place  in  the  outlines  of  the  three 
major  types  of  vegetation.  Much  of  the  forest  has  been  replaced  by 
grass,  brush,  or  crops;  the  early  grassland  area  is  occupied  by  cultivated 
land.  However,  the  region  is  fortunate  to  possess  many  game  preserves, 
water  districts,  and  other  sections  where  natural  conditions  still  prevail 
and  many  more  that  are  being  restored.  The  residents  are  making  a 
start  toward  restriction  of  destructive  lumbering,  bad  range  manage- 
ment, poor  fire  control,  and  unregulated  killing  of  game  and  fish. 

Typical  virgin  areas  of  forest  are  preserved  in  Muir  Woods  Na- 
tional Monument  and  Santa  Cruz  Redwood  Park.  Here  are  trees, 
many  from  1,000  to  2,ooo  years  old,  rising  300  feet  or  more  with 
diameters  of  12  to  1 6  feet.  Their  clean,  gently  tapering  shafts,  clothed 
with  thick,  purplish,  massively  fluted  bark,  rise  uninterrupted  by 
branches  for  approximately  a  third  of  their  height.  The  foliage  is  deli- 
cate and  feathery,  but  dense  enough  to  keep  perpetual  twilight  on  the 
forest  floor.  Scattered  among  the  great  columns  are  smaller  trees: 
broad-leaf  maple,  madrone,  golden  chinquapin,  and  California  laurel. 
In  separate  stajids,  usually  along  the  ridges  at  the  inner  margin  of  the 


THE     BAY     AND     THE     LAND          II 

fog  belt,  is  found  the  somber,  massive  Douglas  fir.  Forming  close 
thickets  are  huckleberries,  azaleas,  rhododendrons,  California  buckthorn 
(the  dried  bark  of  which  is  medicinal  cascara  sagrada),  salal,  wild  cur- 
rants and  gooseberries,  salmon-  and  thimble-berries,  and  elder.  And  in 
the  damper  shade,  watered  by  the  fog  which  the  trees  precipitate, 
Woodwardia  and  sword  ferns  give  cover  to  mosses,  dogtooth  violets, 
true  violets,  wild  ginger,  redwood  sorrel,  trillium,  fritillaria,  clintonia, 
and  the  pungent  yerba  buena  which  gave  San  Francisco  its  first  Spanish 
name. 

The  redwood  forest  and  its  associated  meadows  and  streams  are 
particularly  rich  in  animal  life;  raccoons,  skunks,  wild  cats,  woodrats, 
and  weasels  are  fairly  common.  As  is  natural  in  so  deep  a  forest,  birds 
are  not  conspicuous.  Those  most  often  seen  are  the  varied  and  hermit 
thrushes,  quail,  flycatchers,  California  tanagers,  robins,  various  sparrows 
and  warblers. 

The  chaparral  formation  in  California  is  remarkable,  both  for  its 
high  degree  of  development  and  for  its  numerous  methods  of  adjustment 
to  the  long  dry  summers,  wet  winters,  periodic  fires,  and  intense  sun- 
shine. Its  root  systems  are  often  extensive;  its  leaves  protect  themselves 
from  excessive  evaporation  by  turning  their  broad  surfaces  away  from 
the  sun,  by  growing  in  small,  needle-like  shapes,  and  by  resorting  to 
other  devices  such  as  thick  skins,  coatings  of  fuzz,  exudations  of  resin, 
and  restriction  in  the  number  of  "pores."  Many  typical  shrubs  have 
the  ability  to  sprout  after  fires  from  the  root's  crown.  Others  seed 
profusely  and  grow  vigorously  in  burnt-over  soil.  The  most  wide- 
spread members  of  the  chaparral  are  the  various  species  of  ceanothus, 
used  by  the  Indians  for  soap;  manzanita,  with  white  bell-like  blossoms, 
red  or  chocolate  bark,  neat  oval  leaves;  California  buckeye,  which 
blooms  in  heavy  clusters  and  bears  fig-shaped  fruits;  chamise  (aden- 
ostoma)  ;  chaparral  pea;  many  dwarf  oaks;  and  yerba  santa,  with  pale 
lavender  flowers  and  leaves  spotted  with  resin. 

The  chaparral  was  the  home  of  the  extinct  California  grizzly  and 
the  now  rarely  seen  California  condor.  Typical  of  both  chaparral  and 
grasslands  are  the  brush  rabbit,  coyote,  gray  fox,  various  rats  and  mice, 
pocket  gophers,  and  moles.  Some  of  the  more  distinctive  birds  are  the 
California  jay,  stellar  jay,  California  thrasher,  Anna  hummingbird, 
house  finch,  mourning  dove,  and  valley  quail.  Hawks,  owls,  and 
buzzards  are  very  common. 

Formerly  the  savannah  was  covered  with  a  thick  sod  of  perennial 
grasses;  today  it  is  dominated  by  the  aggressive  annual  wild  oat,  a 
Spanish  importation.  However,  the  spring  still  brings  a  flourishing 
abundance  of  California  poppies,  lupines,  nemophilas,  cream  cups, 
brodiaea,  owl's  clover,  Indian  paintbrushes,  irises,  shooting  stars,  and 
many  composites. 


I2SANFRANCISCO 

One  of  the  region's  most  interesting  natural  environments  is  the 
marshy  border  of  the  sloughs  and  estuaries  where  willows  and  cotton- 
woods  grow.  Wading  birds  are  numerous;  also  the  great  blue  heron, 
night  heron,  bittern,  egret,  and  snowy  egret.  The  estuaries,  filled  with 
tule  rushes,  are  favorite  nesting  places  for  pelicans,  coots  and  ducks, 
wrens,  red-winged  blackbirds,  and  many  warblers. 

Along  the  seacoast  too,  there  is  a  distinct  community  of  wild  life. 
Gulls,  terns,  cormorants,  and  brown  and  white  pelicans  congregate  in 
numbers.  Hair  seals  and  sea  lions  are  still  abundant,  though  the  fur 
seal  has  disappeared. 

Offshore,  all  along  the  Pacific  Coast  of  North  America,  grow  great 
beds  of  brown  kelp,  plants  which  in  some  cases  are  as  large  as  redwood 
trees.  This  dense  marine  thicket  provides  shelter  for  a  host  of  small 
fish,  many  of  them  valuable  for  food.  Perch  and  rock  and  torn  cod  are 
typical  species.  Other  ocean  fishes  found  fresh  in  San  Francisco  mar- 
kets are  sea  bass,  various  flatfish,  halibut,  and  salmon.  Crab,  abalone, 
clams,  shrimp,  and  oysters  (both  native  and  planted)  are  the  principal 
shellfish.  Bay  and  river  fishes  include  shad,  steelhead,  striped  bass, 
and  several  species  of  native  and  imported  trout. 

In  1940  the  San  Francisco  Bay  communities  are  as  close  as  any  urban 
area  in  the  United  States  to  primitive  landscapes.  At  distances  but 
little  farther  than  city  limits  are  forests,  thickets  of  chaparral,  and  tule 
marshes,  so  wild  that  any  explorer  but  the  more  experienced  woodsman 
might  easily  imagine  himself  the  region's  first  inhabitant. 


A  Frontier  to  Conquer 

"The  hills  were  wardens   of  the  far-sought  gold 
And  streams  were  glad  in  valleys  unprofaned  .  .  ." 
— GEORGE  STERLING,  The  Homing  of  Drake 

FROM  the  chalk-white  bluffs  of  the  bay  sheltered  by  Point  Reyes, 
the  coast-dwelling  natives  saw  with  amazement  an  immense  ob- 
ject borne  on  billowing  wings  loom  out  of  the  mist  at  sea  on  June 
17  (Julian  Calendar),  1579.  The  man  whom  they  sent  the  next  day 
to  reconnoiter  paddled  back  excitedly  to  tell  of  living  beings,  white  of 
skin  and  bearded,  aboard  this  apparition.  Concluding  that  these  visitors 
were  no  less  than  spirits  returned  from  the  dead,  the  Indians  timorously 
kept  their  distance,  prepared  to  make — if  necessary — proper  obeisance. 
For  three  days  longer  the  spirits  remained  in  their  abode,  which  rested 
on  the  water,  its  wings  folded.  On  the  third  day  it  moved  in  toward 
the  shore,  and  the  spirits  landed. 

So  came  the  first  white  men  to  set  foot  in  the  region  of  San  Fran- 
cisco Bay — men  of  Francis  Drake's  company  in  the  Golden  Hinde.  They 
had  left  England  a  year  and  a  half  earlier  in  company  with  four  other 
ships,  bound  round  the  world  in  the  service  of  Queen  Elizabeth  to 
plunder  the  ships  and  cities  of  her  enemy,  Philip  II  of  Spain.  Now  only 
the  flagship  remained. 

After  two  days  ashore,  they  were  visited  by  the  awed  inhabitants  of 
the  country,  who  brought  gifts  of  feathers  and  tobacco.  "This  country 
our  Generall  named  Albion"  the  chaplain  wrote,  both  because  "of  the 
white  bancks  and  cliffes"  and  in  order  that  "it  might  haue  some  affinity, 
euen  in  name  also,  with  our  own  country  .  .  ."  And  before  Drake's 
five  weeks'  stay  had  ended,  he  recorded  further,  "our  Generall  caused  to 
be  set  vp  a  monument  of  our  being  there,  as  also  of  her  maiesties  and 
successors  right  and  title  to  that  kingdom ;  namely,  a  plate  of  brasse,  fast 
nailed  to  a  great  and  firme  post;  whereon  is  engrauen  her  graces  name, 
and  the  day  and  yeare  of  our  arriuall  there,  and  of  the  free  giuing  vp 
of  the  prouince  and  kingdom,  both  by  the  king  and  people,  into  her 
maiesties  hands  .  .  ."  Thus  having  established  his  Queen's  title  to  a 
new  kingdom  on  the  other  side  of  the  world,  Francis  Drake  lifted 
anchor  on  July  23  and  sailed  away.  The  Indians  were  grief-stricken. 
As  night  fell,  they  lighted  beacon  fires  on  the  hills. 

13 


14         SAN     FRANCISCO 

NATIVES  OF  THE  COUNTRY 

In  the  Indians'  geography  the  only  land  that  lay  beyond  the  smooth 
disc  of  the  Pacific  Ocean  was  the  island  where  dwelled  their  dead.  The 
Bay  itself  was  to  them  no  "harbor,"  for  their  small  tule  rafts  never 
carried  cargoes  out  the  Golden  Gate.  Even  the  pass  through  the  Coast 
Range  at  Carquinez  Strait,  to  which  stagecoach  and  railroad,  as  surely 
as  the  rivers,  finally  were  to  gravitate,  had  no  great  importance  to  a 
fleet  brown  foot  that  daily  climbed  the  mountain  barrier  for  rabbits.  In 
all  those  ways  that  the  contours  of  the  region  were  to  influence  the 
welfare  of  white  inhabitants,  the  Indians  were  affected  little.  But  for 
other  reasons  the  Bay  environment  impressed  its  pattern  upon  them. 

It  was  the  Bay  that  set  the  sleepy  rhythm  of  the  Indians'  days.  It 
determined,  first,  the  location  of  their  villages.  A  few  groups  lived  on 
the  ocean  front  and  a  few  more  on  the  banks  of  streams  among  the 
wooded  hills,  but  most  of  them  settled  at  the  mouths  of  estuaries,  on  the 
Bay  beaches.  There  the  struggle  for  existence  almost  was  reduced  to 
reaching  out  a  hand  for  supplies  that  the  waters  laid  upon  their  door- 
steps :  for  mussels,  soft-shell  clams,  and  seaweed,  and  the  driftwood  used 
to  cook  them.  The  marine  vertebrates  swam  so  close  to  shore  that  the 
Indians  could  run  into  the  waters  and  catch  them — a  feat  noted  by 
Drake. 

In  developing  their  handicrafts,  the  Indians  were  influenced  by  the 
abundance  of  tule  grass  in  the  marshes.  They  made  no  pottery,  but 
from  woody  stems  and  fibers  they  constructed  water-tight  baskets,  often 
decorated  with  shell  beads,  which  they  used  as  cooking  utensils.  Their 
houses  were  circular  structures  of  poles  usually  tied  together  at  the  top 
and  thatched  with  brush  or  tule  matting.  Rushes  were  used,  too,  for 
the  short  flaps  worn  as  skirts  by  the  women,  though  occasionally  these 
garments  were  made  of  deerskin  or  of  bark  fiber.  The  men  generally 
went  entirely  naked,  except  in  the  early  morning  when  they  sometimes 
plastered  themselves  with  a  coating  of  thick  mud  for  warmth. 

On  the  basis  of  their  crafts,  mythology,  or  language,  the  California 
Indians  can  be  classified  in  large  groups,  but  such  inter-relationships 
were  involuntary.  The  intense  particularism  of  local  communities  gave 
rise  to  marked  variations,  even  between  closely  related  groups.  In  small 
villages,  usually  comprising  about  15  families  each,  lived  the  Indians 
of  the  Bay  region.  Each  village  claimed  a  well-defined  territory  with 
seasonal  campsites  reserved  for  its  own  use.  If  a  deer  hunt  or  a  sum- 
mer wandering  took  its  inhabitants  as  far  as  50  miles,  the  racial  brothers 
they  encountered  might  be  wholly  alien  to  them  and  their  dialects  in- 
comprehensible. However,  although  they  recognized  no  allegiance 
beyond  that  which  they  paid  to  their  village  chief,  the  peoples  of  the 
Bay  region  were  all  of  one  linguistic  family,  the  Penutian.  The  greater 


A     FRONTIER     TO     CONQUER         15 

part  of  the  Bay  area  was  occupied  by  the  Costanoan,  whose  territory 
included  the  San  Francisco  Peninsula,  the  coast  country  as  far  south  as 
Point  Sur,  and  the  eastern  shores  of  the  Bay  as  far  inland  as  the  Mount 
Diablo  Range.  North  of  the  Bay,  as  far  east  as  the  Sonoma  Valley 
and  as  far  north  as  the  Russian  River,  lived  the  Coast  Miwok.  East- 
ward, beyond  the  Sonoma  Valley,  the  Wintun  held  the  shores  of  San 
Pablo  and  Suisun  Bays. 

Among  all  the  peoples  of  the  earth,  no  others  are  known  who  kept 
so  long  unchanged  their  ways  of  living  and  thinking.  During  the  last 
30  to  40  centuries  when  western  civilization  was  making  its  cyclical 
and  labored  rise,  time  stood  still  for  the  Bay  Indians.  Early  white 
visitors  remarked  that  these  natives  were  squalid  and  listless.  However, 
most  such  observers  had  seen  them  after  the  mission  system  had  begun 
forcing  upon  them  an  alien  civilization.  In  1579  Drake's  men  had 
noted  that  the  Miwok  Indians  handled  their  bows  and  arrows  "very 
skilfully,"  that  their  spokesman  was  "using  sich  violent  Gestures,  and 
so  strong  a  Voice,  and  speaking  so  fast  that  he  was  quite  out  of  Breath," 
and  that  these  Indians  "run  very  swiftly,  and  long,  and  seldom  go  any 
other  Pace.  .  .  ."  It  was  after  40  years  of  mission  rule,  in  1816,  that 
the  Frenchman  Louis  Choris  described  the  apathy  of  the  San  Francisco 
Costanoan:  "I  have  never  seen  one  laugh.  I  have  never  seen  one  look 
one  in  the  face." 

Apathetic  though  they  may  have  seemed  to  white  men  who  could 
not  understand  their  failure  to  take  up  arms  in  their  own  defense,  still 
they  were  not  lacking  in  sensitivity,  for  they  gave  lyrical  expression  to 
their  feeling  for  the  environment  in  their  mythology  and  songs.  In  the 
beginning,  the  Costanoan  told  each  other,  waters  covered  all  of  the 
earth  except  the  summit  of  Mount  Diablo.  There  lived  a  coyote,  a 
humming  bird,  and  an  eagle,  and  as  the  waters  receded  these  three,  but 
chiefly  Coyote,  created  the  world.  Their  myths  about  Coyote's  subse- 
quent adventures  are  a  mixture  of  ribald  humor  and  idealism.  The 
Indians  worshipped  the  sun  with  offerings,  and  held  sacred  the  towering 
redwood  trees.  To  the  Coast  Miwok,  Mount  Tamalpais,  whose  long 
eastward  slope  resembles  the  figure  of  a  sleeping  woman,  was  the  human 
bride  of  the  sun  god,  who  fell  from  his  arms  as  he  was  trying  to  carry 
her  to  his  celestial  world.  When  summer  fog  wrapped  the  figure,  the 
Indians  told  each  other  that  this  was  her  fleecy  blanket,  made  by  the 
god  from  his  tears. 

Even  critical  white  observers  found  the  Costanoan  songs  peculiarly 
pleasing.  In  some  of  them  the  singers  tried  to  express  the  sensibilities 
of  small  woodland  animals — of  the  wood-rat,  for  instance: 

"I  dream  of  you, 
I   dream  of  you  jumping. 
Rabbit,    jack-rabbit    and    quail    .   .    ." 


l6        SAN     FRANCISCO 

Apparently  they  were  aware  that  their  Bay  and  its  peninsulas  were  the 
dramatic  western  boundary  of  a  great  land,  for  another  of  their  songs 
began  : 

"Dancing  on  the  brink  of  the  world  .  .  ." 

Such  imagery  suggests  that  the  native  singers  were  not  wholly 
apathetic  and  morose.  When  the  white  man  came,  to  prove  that  their 
coast  was  not  the  world's  brink  and  to  put  an  end  forever  to  the  danc- 
ing, apathy  may  not  have  been  the  only  reason  they  did  not  laugh. 

THE  WHITE  MEN  CAME 

Grim,  medieval  Carlos  V  of  Spain — uncertain  of  his  geography,  but 
with  his  black  eyes  fixed  on  galleons  bearing  spices  and  treasure  across 
the  vast  Pacific — had  ordered  Hernando  Cortez,  in  the  course  of  the 
expedition  on  which  he  set  forth  in  1532,  to  "seek  a  natural  port  well 
north  of  New  Spain"  where  "my  navigators  may  find  refuge,  refit  and 
rest."  From  such  a  safe  harbor,  far  up  the  unexplored  California  coast, 
His  Most  Catholic  Majesty  had  hoped  that  "they  may  then  continue 
the  voyage  from  Manila  to  Acapulco  with  a  greater  degree  of  safety 
from  the  enemies  of  my  country." 

Spanish  navigators  required  227  years  to  carry  out  this  royal  decree; 
and  even  then,  it  was  not  his  Majesty's  sailors  but  rather  his  soldiers,  led 
by  Don  Caspar  de  Portola,  who  early  in  November  of  1769  first  dis- 
covered the  great  landlocked  anchorage  now  known  as  San  Francisco 
Bay.  Not  even  Portola,  to  whom  the  glory  has  gone,  was  the  first 
actually  to  see  that  body  of  inland  water  large  enough  to  contain  "all 
the  ships  of  Spain."  From  the  summit  of  the  Montara  Ridge  Don 
Caspar  himself  saw  no  more  than  the  Gulf  of  the  Farallones  and, 
purple  in  the  distance,  the  long  headland  which  the  navigator  Sebastian 
Vizcaino,  in  1603,  had  named  Punta  de  los  Reyes  (Sp.,  King's  Point). 
It  fell  to  soldiers  of  his  expedition  whose  names  with  one  exception  are 
unknown  to  look  first  on  San  Francisco  Bay. 

Finding  on  the  jagged  shoreline  no  resemblance  to  the  huge  and 
sheltered  bay  described  by  Vizcaino  in  1603,  Portola's  party  had  fol- 
lowed the  shore  of  Monterey  Bay  without  recognizing  it  to  the  mouth 
of  the  San  Lorenzo  River,  present  site  of  Santa  Cruz.  Pushing  on 
through  redwood  trees,  over  ridges,  arroyos,  and  creeks,  they  trudged 
past  Half  Moon  Bay.  Rising  before  them  in  the  October  rain  they  saw 
the  rocky  barrier  of  Montara  Ridge,  and  at  its  base  made  their  camp. 
The  next  day  being  clear,  they  surveyed  from  the  summit  of  Point  San 
Pedro  the  far-off  purple  cape  of  Point  Reyes. 

Gazing  at  the  distant  headland  christened  in  honor  of  the  Three 
Wise  Men  of  the  East  who  had  brought  gold  and  frankincense  and 


A     FRONTIER     TO     CONQUER         Ij 

myrrh  to  the  infant  Jesus,  Don  Gaspar  decided  it  might  be  worthwhile 
to  search  the  intervening  coastline  for  that  Puerto  de  San  Francisco 
which  shipwrecked  Cermeno  had  happened  upon  in  1595.  Portola 
therefore  put  one  of  his  scouts,  Sergeant  Jose  Francisco  Ortega,  in 
charge  of  a  party  of  ten,  presumably  to  explore  the  region  as  far  north 
as  Point  Reyes. 

Sergeant  Ortega's  little  band  of  soldiers  never  reached  their  rather 
ambiguous  goal.  Precisely  what  they  did,  where  they  went,  and  what 
they  saw  are  mysteries  which  still  tantalize  the  imagination  of  his- 
torians. Some  authorities  have  advanced  the  theory  that  Ortega's  prog- 
ress northward  was  halted  by  the  Golden  Gate,  for  which  reason  he 
must  have  been  the  first  to  look  into  San  Francisco  Bay  from  the  vicinity 
of  Point  Lobos.  However  probable,  the  theory  is  pure  conjecture  based 
mainly  on  the  fact  that  the  exploring  party,  in  the  three  days  it  was 
given  to  accomplish  its  purpose,  had  sufficient  time  to  traverse  the 
Peninsula  to  its  end.  The  diary  kept  by  Padre  Juan  Crespi,  chronicler 
of  Portola's  expedition,  gives  scant  information  on  this  vexing  possi- 
bility. And  his  diary,  overburdened  as  it  is  by  the  padre's  preoccupa- 
tion with  the  needs  of  Portola's  men  suffering  from  scurvy  and  diarrhea, 
is  the  only  reliable  record  of  these  events. 

The  San  Francisco  Peninsula's  abundance  of  roots,  acorns,  grass- 
hoppers, sparrows,  and  squirrels  may  have  been  responsible  for  the 
tameness  of  the  aborigines,  but  it  hardly  served  to  supply  the  lack  of 
red  meat  and  green  vegetables  which  had  brought  Portola's  men  to  the 
point  of  starvation.  It  was  therefore  mainly  a  desperate  abdominal 
urge  which  drove  them  on  to  some  rather  extensive  exploration  of  the 
area  around  San  Francisco  Bay — exploration  which  would  later  result 
in  the  establishment  of  the  northernmost  outpost  of  Spanish  civilization 
in  the  New  World. 

According  to  Padre  Crespi's  diary,  which  is  corroborated  by  Miguel 
Costanso,  Portola's  engineer,  the  second  exploring  party  was  allotted 
four  days  for  their  itinerary  and  "their  ration  of  flour  to  keep  off  hunger 
for  that  time."  They  started  on  the  afternoon  of  November  7.  On  the 
night  of  November  10,  wrote  Crespi,  "the  explorers  returned,  very  sad, 
and  no  longer  believing  in  the  report  of  the  heathen,  which  they  con- 
fessed they  had  not  understood.  They  said  that  all  the  territory  which 
they  had  examined  to  the  northeast  and  north  was  impassable  because 
of  the  scarcity  of  pasture  and  especially  because  of  the  ferocity  and  ill- 
temper  of  the  heathen,  who  received  them  angrily  and  tried  to  stop  their 
passage.  They  said  also  that  they  had  seen  another  estuary  of  equal 
magnitude  and  extent  with  the  one  which  we  had  in  sight  and  with 
which  it  is  communicated,  but  that  in  order  to  go  around  it  one  would 
have  to  travel  many  leagues;  and  that  they  saw  no  signs  that  might 


l8        SAN     FRANCISCO 

indicate  the  proximity  of  the  port  where  it  terminates,  and  that  the 
mountains  were  rough  and  difficult." 

So  well  does  Crespi's  description  apply  to  the  contra  costa  (Sp., 
opposite  shore),  it  is  fairly  obvious  that  this  exploring  party  discovered 
San  Pablo  Bay,  probably  from  the  rugged  shoreline  of  Pinole  Point,  at 
that  time  inhabited  by  the  Wintun  Indians,  who  later  proved  a  menace 
to  Spanish  settlers  north  of  San  Francisco  Bay.  Their  failure  to  report 
having  seen  the  Golden  Gate  indicates  that  they  may  have  travelled 
inland,  possibly  up  the  Moraga  Valley.  Certain  it  is  that  famished  as 
they  were,  and  presumably  mounted  on  mules  equally  famished,  they 
took  the  easiest  route  they  could  find. 

Discouraged  by  their  inability  to  reach  the  entrance  of  what  they 
still  believed  was  the  port  of  Monterey,  in  the  vicinity  of  Point  Reyes, 
Portola's  expedition  began  the  long  trek  homeward  to  San  Diego.  The 
whole  course  of  their  explorations  had  been  determined  by  their  first 
view  of  the  Gulf  of  the  Farallones,  which  tallied  with  Cabrera  Bueno's 
description  of  the  old  Port  of  San  Francisco,  derived  originally  from 
reports  of  Spanish  galleons  dropping  anchor  there  for  wood  and  water 
some  200  years  before.  Even  if  they  had  been  able  to  see  the  Golden 
Gate  from  Point  San  Pedro,  however,  it  is  doubtful  that  they  would 
have  followed  a  different  course,  so  convinced  were  they  that  Point 
Reyes  was  the  headland  of  a  great  arm  of  the  sea  extending  inland  east 
of  the  rocky  peninsula  shaped  like  a  plowshare  which  lies  between 
Bolinas  Lagoon  and  Tomales  Bay. 

Padre  Junipero  Serra,  father  superior  of  the  Franciscan  missionaries 
in  California — lean,  ascetic,  sometimes  merciless,  but  a  more  efficient 
administrator  than  most  secular  representatives  of  Spain  in  the  New 
World — came  north  by  ship  the  following  year  (1770)  to  establish  a 
mission  on  Monterey  Bay,  discovered  finally  at  the  cost  of  a  second 
expedition.  Even  before  the  founding  of  this  future  capital  of  Alta 
California,  Serra  had  insisted  that  surely  one  of  the  projected  missions 
in  the  territory  should  be  dedicated  to  the  patron  saint  of  his  order.  To 
this  the  Visitador-General,  Don  Jose  de  Galvez,  had  answered  dryly: 
"If  St.  Francis  wants  a  mission,  let  him  show  us  his  port  and  we  will 
found  one."  Now  that  Portola  had  been  led  by  Divine  Grace  to  St. 
Francis'  port,  it  became  an  obvious  duty  to  establish  a  mission  there 
without  delay. 

Hence,  in  the  spring  of  1772,  Portola's  young  lieutenant,  Pedro 
Fages,  and  Padre  Crespi  led  a  party  of  12  soldiers  from  Mission  San 
Carlos  Borromeo  (now  Carmel  Mission)  to  select  a  suitable  site  for 
the  new  mission  near  the  entrance  to  what  was  now  called  the  Port  of 
Our  Father  St.  Francis.  The  Fages  expedition  proceeded  up  the  Salinas 
and  Santa  Clara  Valleys,  and  northward  around  the  eastern  shore  of 
San  Francisco  Bay.  From  the  present  site  of  Oakland,  which  they 


A     FRONTIER     TO     CONQUER         19 

passed  on  March  27,  they  must  have  had  a  fair  view  of  the  Golden 
Gate.  Next  day,  from  the  hills  below  which  Berkeley  now  stands,  they 
saw  through  the  Golden  Gate  the  peaks  of  the  southeast  Farallon 
Islands  rising  on  the  horizon.  Though  Costanso  later  claimed  that 
Portola's  men  were  the  first  to  see  the  famous  strait,  the  honor  doubtless 
belongs  to  the  Fages  party. 

From  the  Richmond  Hills  the  explorers  travelled  northward  to  the 
south  shore  of  San  Pablo  Bay  a  few  miles  east  of  San  Pablo  Point  and 
then  eastward  past  Carquinez  Strait  to  the  present  site  of  Martinez. 
They  skirted  Suisun  Bay  and  followed  the  south  bank  of  the  San 
Joaquin  River  almost  to  where  Antioch  now  stands.  Finding  the  San 
Joaquin  too  wide  to  cross,  the  Fages  party  decided  to  return  to  Mon- 
terey. On  their  homeward  journey  they  passed  through  the  Pacheco 
Valley,  west  of  Mount  Diablo  through  the  San  Ramon  Valley,  and 
down  through  Alameda  Canyon  to  the  site  of  the  future  Mission  San 
Jose.  From  their  camp  near  the  present  village  of  Milpitas  they  con- 
tinued down  the  old  trail  to  Monterey  which,  beaten  by  the  pack  trains 
of  the  explorers  who  came  after  them,  was  to  extend  the  great  Camino 
Real  (Sp.,  King's  Highway)  from  Mexico  to  the  northernmost  limits 
of  the  Spanish  Empire. 

The  new  Spanish  viceroy  at  Mexico  City,  farsighted  Antonio 
Bucareli,  was  determined,  at  the  risk  of  losing  one  of  his  clumsy  little 
ships  on  the  dangerous  California  coast,  to  settle  for  once  and  for  all 
the  question  of  San  Francisco  Bay.  He  therefore  sent  Lieutenant  Juan 
Manuel  de  Ayala  on  the  San  Carlos  with  instructions  to  make  a  further 
survey  of  the  Gulf  of  the  Farallones.  As  darkness  fell  on  August  5, 
1775,  the  San  Carlos,  having  sent  a  launch  ahead  to  find  anchorage, 
sailed  cautiously  through  the  Golden  Gate  and  anchored  for  the  night. 
On  August  7  it  moved  to  a  new  anchorage  on  the  north  side  of  Raccoon 
Strait  and  a  week  later  to  another  in  Hospital  Cove  ofif  Angel  Island. 

The  hardy  band  of  settlers  whom  Juan  Bautista  de  Anza  led 
through  incredible  hardships  all  the  way  overland  from  Tubac  in 
Sonora  province  had  arrived  on  the  present  site  of  San  Francisco  with 
a  platoon  of  soldiers  and  two  priests  by  the  time  the  San  Carlos  sailed 
a  second  time  through  the  Golden  Gate.  With  the  assistance  of  the 
ship's  carpenters  and  crew,  Lieutenant  Jose  Joaquin  Moraga's  soldiers 
were  able,  on  September  17,  1776,  to  raise  the  standard  of  Carlos  III 
of  Spain  over  the  quarters  of  the  comandante  (commander)  in  the 
Presidio.  The  occasion  was  celebrated  with  a  high  mass,  the  firing  of 
cannon,  and  the  chanting  of  a  fervent  Te  Deum. 

The  opening  and  dedication  of  the  new  Mission  San  Francisco  de 
Asis  (later  known  as  Mission  Dolores)  on  the  grass-clad  slope  near  a 
small  lake,  dolefully  named  by  the  padres  Laguna  de  los  Dolores  (Lake 
of  Sorrows),  was  delayed  until  October  8,  1776  because  of  the  absence 


2O         SAN     FRANCISCO 

of  Moraga  on  an  exploring  expedition.  Moraga's  expedition  observed 
the  feast-day  of  Saint  Francis  by  proving  conclusively  that  the  Golden 
Gate  was  the  only  entrance  to  San  Francisco  Bay.  "At  length,"  ex- 
claimed Padre  Serra  on  his  arrival  at  the  new  mission  the  following 
year,  "our  Father  St.  Francis  has  advanced  the  sacred  cross  ...  to  the 
very  last  extremity  of  California;  to  go  further  requires  ships." 

Unfortunately,  St.  Francis'  new  mission  lacked  adjacent  arable  land. 
Anza's  poverty-stricken  settlers,  and  the  few  who  came  after  them,  soon 
found  the  fertile  Santa  Clara  Valley  to  the  south  more  suitable  for  them 
than  the  wind-swept,  flea-infested  sandy  wastes  of  the  area  dedicated  to 
their  patron  saint.  Therefore,  on  January  12,  1777,  the  new  Mission 
Santa  Clara  was  founded  down  the  peninsula.  And  three  miles  south 
of  it  arose  the  first  purely  civil  settlement  in  California — the  pueblo 
(town)  of  San  Jose. 

Before  the  close  of  the  century  two  more  Franciscan  missions  had 
been  established  in  the  Bay  area:  Mission  Santa  Cruz,  on  August  28, 
1791,  and  Mission  San  Jose  de  Guadalupe,  on  June  n,  1797.  The 
lands  which  reminded  Anza's  settlers  of  the  fertile  valleys  of  Valencia 
soon  brought  prosperity  to  these  adobe  outposts  of  Catholicism;  their 
baptismal  fonts  grew  muddy  with  the  dirt  of  Indians  saved  from  the 
wrath  of  God.  Only  by  slow  degrees,  however,  did  the  reluctant 
aborigines  desert  their  mud  huts  and  childlike  savage  habits  for  the 
adobe  barracks,  the  lengthy  prayers  and  hard  work  of  the  missions. 
Though  the  padres  occasionally  lost  patience  and  punished  petty  crimes 
with  rawhide  when  sweet  words  were  of  no  avail,  they  did  not  generally 
ill  treat  their  converts.  On  the  whole  the  condition  of  the  Indians  was 
improved  by  their  strange  new  masters  in  cassocks  with  shaved  heads 
whose  God  hung  nailed  upon  a  cross.  Of  course,  they  learned  to  speak 
Spanish  and  did  the  manual  labor  of  plowing  and  harvesting;  they  ex- 
celled in  handicraft  and  later  as  herders  of  cattle  and  sheep.  By  1800 
intermarriage  had  produced  many  mestizos  (half-breeds)  among  the 
30,000  Indians  converted  by  the  Bay  region  missions.  Within  the  fol- 
lowing decade,  however,  the  neophytes  were  decimated  by  measles  and 
smallpox  epidemics. 

Alarmed  by  the  catastrophic  mortality,  which  was  threatening  the 
mission  with  extinction,  the  fathers  transferred  a  number  of  neophytes 
to  the  more  salubrious  climate  of  the  north  Bay  region.  The  experi- 
ment proved  successful;  the  health  of  these  invalids  was  greatly  im- 
proved. On  December  14,  1817,  the  asistencia  (chapel)  of  San  Rafael 
was  founded  at  the  present  site  of  the  town  of  San  Rafael.  Young 
Padre  Jose  Altimira  planned  a  more  radical  solution  to  the  problem, 
namely,  complete  abandonment  of  Mission  Dolores  and  transference  of 
its  neophytes  along  with  those  at  San  Rafael  to  a  new  mission  at  Sonoma. 
Accordingly  Mission  San  Francisco  Solano  was  founded  in  1823 — with- 


A     FRONTIER     TO     CONQUER         21 

out,  however,  the  authorization  of  church  dignitaries,  who  objected.  A 
compromise  was  reached,  permitting  the  new  mission  and  Mission 
Dolores  and  San  Rafael  as  well  to  remain.  It  was  to  be  the  last  mission 
founded  in  Alta  California. 

Even  after  the  outbreak  of  the  Napoleonic  wars,  when  trade  with 
foreigners  was  declared  illegal,  alcaldes  (mayors)  and  comandantes 
averted  their  eyes  from  the  illicit  traffic  with  American  whalers  and 
traders  who  brought  oil,  tea,  textiles,  silk,  and  household  utensils  in 
exchange  for  hides  and  agricultural  products  piled  up  in  the  storehouse 
of  the  missions.  Rezanof's  unromantic  followers  who  settled  around 
Fort  Ross  on  Bodega  Bay,  and  whom  Governor  Pablo  de  Sola  dis- 
trusted, were  being  welcomed  to  Yerba  Buena  Cove  with  urbane  polite- 
ness in  1821 — while  the  viceregal  regime  in  Mexico  City  was  being 
overthrown.  The  interregnum  of  General  Agustin  Iturbide's  regency, 
immediately  succeeded  by  the  short-lived  Empire  of  Mexico,  passed 
almost  unobserved  by  the  Emperor's  subjects  in  Alta  California;  and 
news  of  the  institution  of  a  republican  regime,  which  reached  the  terri- 
tory in  January,  1824,  was  received  without  much  enthusiasm.  At  Mis- 
sion Dolores,  Father  Estenaja  delivered  a  sermon  praising  the  constitu- 
tion of  the  new  Republic  of  Mexico  and  said  a  mass  for  its  future 
greatness.  The  Presidio  guns  were  fired,  a  few  cheers  went  up;  and 
when  the  echoes  of  the  celebration  had  died  away  across  the  great  Bay, 
the  straggling  settlement  relaxed  into  its  accustomed  siesta. 

YANKEE  INVASION 

The  Bay  region,  despite  a  half  century  of  misrule  that  combined 
paternalism  with  neglect,  had  attained  economic  independence  when  on 
March  26,  1825,  Alta  California  formally  was  declared  a  province  of 
the  Mexican  Republic.  The  decade  which  would  elapse  before  the 
secularization  of  the  missions  was  to  witness  the  heyday  of  Hispano- 
Mexican  colonization  on  the  Pacific  Coast. 

Mission  San  Jose  in  1825  owned  62,000  head  of  cattle,  as  many 
sheep,  and  other  livestock;  in  1828  Mission  Santa  Clara  had,  besides 
other  livestock,  14,500  head  of  cattle  and  15,500  sheep.  Mission 
Dolores'  economic  importance  was,  however,  eclipsed  by  the  cove  of 
Yerba  Buena  to  which  the  Bay  area  missions  and  ranchos  brought  their 
produce  in  oxcarts  for  trade  with  foreign  ships.  Besides  their  great 
herds,  which  furnished  the  hides  and  tallow  sought  by  European  and 
American  traders,  the  missions  owned  vast  fields  planted  in  wheat  and 
maize  and  other  crops  primarily  for  domestic  consumption.  Cloth,  a 
coarse  kind  of  serge,  was  woven  from  wool;  and  the  aguardiente 
(brandy)  distilled  from  the  vineyards  of  Mission  San  Jose  was  the 
delight  of  foreign  visitors.  The  missions,  designed  originally  to  form 


22         SAN     FRANCISCO 

the  nuclei  of  pueblos  and  intended  to  relinquish  control  of  their  Indian 
convert-citizens  to  the  civil  authority,  had  become  so  wealthy  by  1830 
that  they  were  reluctant  to  fulfill  a  destiny  which  would  deprive  them 
of  their  power. 

This  system  of  monastic  feudalism  was  likewise  perpetuated  by  the 
vast  ranchos,  ranging  from  one-half  to  more  than  sixteen  square  leagues 
(a  league  being  equal  to  about  4,438  acres),  granted  by  Spanish  gov- 
ernors to  soldiers  of  the  Portola  and  Fages  expeditions.  During  the 
years  of  Mexican  rule  grants  were  also  made  to  Americans  and  other 
foreigners  who  showed  a  disposition  to  settle  the  country  in  a  neigh- 
borly manner.  Rancho  San  Antonio,  the  48,ooo-acre  domain  within 
whose  former  boundaries  now  stand  the  cities  of  Alameda,  Albany, 
Berkeley,  Emeryville,  Oakland,  Piedmont,  and  San  Leandro,  and  Las 
Pulgas  (the  fleas),  the  35,ooo-acre  rancho  granted  in  1795  on  which 
stand  almost  as  many  Peninsula  towns,  were  typical  of  these  feudal 
estates.  Here,  in  their  adobe  ranch  houses,  the  lordly  dons  entertained 
friends  and  relatives  with  lavish  hospitality.  They  were  grateful  for 
the  luxuries  brought  to  Yerba  Buena  Cove  by  foreign  traders  whose 
followers  would  one  day  dispossess  them. 

When  the  missions  were  secularized  about  1834,  the  great  land- 
owners came  into  possession  of  most  of  the  mission  lands — and  of  their 
Indian  charges  as  well.  The  plan  had  been  that  the  mission  communities 
should  be  organized  as  towns,  enough  land  set  aside  for  the  support  of 
the  clergy,  and  the  surplus  divided  among  the  Indians.  But  to  the 
administrators  appointed  by  the  government,  rather  than  to  the  Indians, 
went  the  greater  part  of  the  flocks  and  herds  and  grain  fields.  Relieved 
from  the  discipline  of  the  monks,  the  freed  neophytes  were  the  easy 
prey  of  gamblers  and  thieves.  Without  any  direction,  spiritual  or  eco- 
nomic, they  became  scattered  on  the  great  ranches  whose  owners  under 
Mexican  grants  were  getting  control  of  the  best  of  the  lands  in  the  coast 
valleys.  All  the  while  tuberculosis  and  smallpox  and  a  declining  birth 
rate  were  steadily  reducing  their  numbers.  The  state  of  affairs  at  the 
Mission  Dolores  was  typical.  The  pueblo  did  not  develop  into  a  pros- 
perous town.  Padre  Rafael  de  Jesus  Moreno  pointed  out  that  the 
commissioner  was  acting  for  his  own  advantage  rather  than  for  the 
good  of  the  Indians.  Likewise  there  were  charges  and  countercharges 
at  Santa  Clara,  San  Jose  and  the  other  missions  around  the  Bay.  All  of 
them  fell  into  neglect  and  decay.  There  were  only  50  Indians  at  San 
Francisco  when  the  French  explorer  and  scientist,  Duflot  de  Mofras, 
was  there  in  1841. 

International  rivalries  meanwhile  were  shaping  the  future  of  Alta 
California  and  the  Bay  area.  Fort  Ross,  less  than  100  miles  north  of 
the  Bay,  was  developing  into  something  more  formidable  than  an  out- 
post of  Russian  hunters  of  seal  and  sea  otter  who  chased  their  prey  from 


A     FRONTIER     TO     CONQUER         23 

the  Farallon  Islands  right  into  San  Francisco  Bay.  Representatives  of 
Britain's  Hudson's  Bay  Trading  Company,  who  came  to  make  surveys 
of  the  Boy  region  and  to  twit  the  comandante  of  Yerba  Buena's 
presidio  on  the  sad  state  of  his  defenses,  had  a  knowing  political  gleam 
in  their  eyes. 

Least  suspect  of  all  were  the  Americans.  Unlike  some  other  for- 
eigners settling  in  the  Bay  region,  they  assumed  no  official  character 
which  could  be  construed  as  representing  aggressive  designs  on  the  part 
of  the  United  States.  The  majority  of  Yankee  immigrants,  in  fact, 
adopted  unhesitatingly  the  religion  and  customs  of  the  Mexicans;  they 
renounced  their  American  citizenship  and  married  into  leading  Mexican 
families.  Not  for  some  years  after  the  first  trappers  had  begun  to  cross 
the  Sierra  were  the  Yankees  regarded  by  Mexican  authorities  with 
suspicion  such  as  the  Russian  incursion  into  the  Bay  area  had  received 
since  1812. 

Secure  behind  their  stockades  and  twelve  brass  cannons  at  Fort  Ross, 
the  Russians  ignored  repeated  orders  to  leave  the  country.  As  early  as 
1817  Governor  Pablo  Vicente  de  Sola  had  reported  to  his  superiors  in 
Mexico  City  that  he  could  not  drive  them  out  with  the  forces  at  his 
command,  whose  weapons  were  effective  only  against  Indians  armed 
with  bows  and  arrows.  Now  that  Mexico  was  an  independent  nation 
she  no  longer  had  protection  from  the  Spanish  navy,  and  no  supply  ships 
had  arrived  at  Yerba  Buena  since  1811.  Captain  William  Shaler, 
describing  San  Francisco  Bay  in  1805,  found  the  entrance  defended  only 
"by  a  battery  on  which  are  mounted  some  brass  pounders,  which  afford 
only  the  show  of  defense ;  and  the  place  could  make  no  resistance  against 
the  smallest  military  force  .  .  ."  The  Castillo  de  San  Joaquin,  here 
described,  was  not  improved  by  subsequent  decades  of  neglect. 

Whether  or  not  the  provincial  authorities  recognized  the  fact,  from 
1823  onward  the  American  government  had  entered  into  the  long-range 
struggle  of  world  powers  for  control  of  Alta  California.  Concern  over 
Russian  inroads  into  the  Bay  region  prompted  Andrew  Jackson's  ad- 
ministration to  undertake  negotiations  with  the  Mexican  government 
for  acquisition  of  Alta  California.  What  "Old  Hickory"  had  his  eye 
on  was  that  portion  of  Mexican  territory  north  of  the  37th  parallel, 
including  San  Francisco  Bay,  which  had  been  described  to  him  as  "a 
most  desirable  place  of  resort  for  our  numerous  whaling  vessels  ...  in 
the  Pacific,  far  superior  to  any  to  which  they  now  have  access."  The 
$3>5OO,ooo  which  Jackson  offered  Mexico's  President  Santa  Anna  was, 
however,  refused;  and  the  American  government's  subsequent  attempts 
to  bring  the  Mexicans  to  terms  met  with  no  better  success. 

American  citizens  meanwhile  were  far  from  idle.  From  frontier 
settlements  in  Missouri,  Kentucky  and  Tennessee,  trappers  and  fur 
traders  in  coonskin  caps  and  greasy  buckskin  had  been  threading  their 


24        SAN     FRANCISCO 

way  across  the  plains  and  mountains  of  the  West.  First  of  these  restless 
Yankees  to  reach  Alta  California  by  an  overland  route  was  Jedediah 
Smith.  In  the  fall  of  1826  this  "Pathfinder  of  the  Sierras"  had  opened 
the  way  for  American  settlement  of  the  Sacramento  and  San  Joaquin 
Valleys.  That  his  presence  in  the  Bay  region  was  unwelcome  is  ap- 
parent from  the  fact  that,  on  his  arrival  at  Mission  San  Jose,  Padre 
Narciso  Duran  locked  him  in  an  outhouse;  and  upon  his  release  Gov- 
ernor Jose  Maria  de  Echeandia  gave  him  two  months  to  get  his  fur 
traders  out  of  the  country. 

The  feudal  rancheros  had  no  great  interest  in  encouraging  trade 
and  industry,  but  under  Governor  Jose  Figueroa's  liberal  regime  San 
Francisco  Bay  was  declared  a  port  of  entry  and,  in  1835,  the  pueblo  of 
Yerba  Buena  was  laid  out  on  the  cove.  Appointment  of  a  harbormaster 
and  lifting  of  restrictions  on  trade  with  foreign  shipping  opened  for  the 
Bay  area  a  decade  of  friendly  relations  between  Mexicans  and  Yankee 
settlers  which  might  eventually  have  resulted  in  peaceful  annexation  of 
California  by  the  United  States.  The  appointment  of  Thomas  O. 
Larkin  as  United  States  Consul  to  Alta  California  in  1843  was  made, 
apparently,  to  encourage  the  Californios  to  sever  their  ties  with  Mexico 
and  seek  protection  under  the  American  flag. 

The  loss  of  Texas  to  Sam  Houston's  rebellious  settlers  in  1836  left 
the  regime  in  Mexico  City  in  too  perilous  a  state  to  cope  with  the 
political  intrigue  among  its  representatives  in  Alta  California ;  and  some 
of  these  began  to  depend  upon  certain  foreign  elements  in  the  province 
to  maintain  their  despotic  rule  against  rival  officials  and  a  citizenry 
from  which  arose  the  rumblings  of  revolt.  Their  most  powerful  aide 
in  the  vicinity  of  the  Bay  area  was  Johann  Augustus  Sutter,  Swiss  immi- 
grant and  adventurer  extraordinary,  who  had  established  a  settlement 
in  the  Sacramento  Valley.  At  Sutter's  Fort  were  welcomed  the  Amer- 
ican immigrant  trains  whose  oxcarts  came  straggling  down  through 
passes  in  the  high  Sierra  after  1841. 

In  1841,  when  the  Russians  decided  to  withdraw  from  Fort  Ross, 
Sutter  had  acquired  all  their  territory  around  Bodega  Bay.  In  return 
for  assisting  General  Mariano  Guadalupe  Vallejo,  comandante  of 
Sonoma,  to  disperse  the  roving  brigands  which  General  Manuel  Michel- 
torena  brought  with  him  from  Mexico  when  he  came  to  displace  Gov- 
ernor Juan  Bautista  Alvarado  at  Monterey  in  1842,  the  redoubtable 
Sutter  was  left  unmolested  to  play  off  one  rival  official  against  another. 
Even  when  this  "Lord  of  the  Marches"  threatened  to  "proclaim  Cali- 
fornia a  Republic  independent  of  Mexico"  if  he  were  not  given  leave 
to  do  as  he  pleased,  Vallejo  dared  not  break  off  friendly  relations  with 
him.  He  wrote  unhappily  at  the  time,  when  American  immigration  was 
filling  the  Bay  area  with  Yankee  settlers,  that  "the  only  certainty  is 
that  Californfans  will  die,"  and  again,  "I  dare  not  assure  myself  that 


A     FRONTIER     TO     CONQUER         25 

California  will  be  saved."  He  drew  what  consolation  he  could  from  the 
fact  that  Sutter  had  prevented  further  encroachment  of  the  British  Hud- 
son's Bay  Company  and  kept  his  political  rival,  Juan  Bautista  Alvarado, 
at  a  safe  distance;  but  he  saw  the  Americans  taking  over  the  country. 

When  the  first  overland  party  from  Missouri  arrived  at  the  ranch 
of  Dr.  John  Marsh  near  Mount  Diablo  in  November  1841,  they  were 
permitted  to  settle  unmolested.  Governor  Micheltorena  had  orders  to 
put  a  stop  to  all  immigration;  but  his  disreputable  army  had  made  him 
unpopular  and  he  was  dependent  on  American  support  to  put  down  the 
conspiracies  of  rival  officials  who  openly  defied  his  authority.  Further- 
more, the  crafty  Alvarado  had  left  the  treasury  of  the  province  empty  ; 
and  the  secularization  of  the  missions  in  1834  nad  already  destroyed 
the  source  of  funds  by  which  presidio  garrisons  had  been  maintained. 
To  aggravate  this  precarious  situation  even  more,  the  American  and 
British  consuls  in  Monterey  were  keeping  their  respective  governments 
informed  of  the  events  leading  to  a  crisis  in  which  intervention  of  some 
sort  would  decide  the  future  of  the  territory. 

Such  was  the  state  of  affairs  in  California  and  the  Bay  region  when, 
in  December  1845,  Captain  John  Charles  Fremont  entered  the  prov- 
ince. As  United  States  topographical  engineer  in  command  of  two 
previous  expeditions  sent  to  survey  California's  natural  resources,  Fre- 
mont was  received  on  January  27,  1846  in  Monterey  without  serious 
misgivings  by  Mexican  authorities,  who  gave  him  permission  to  obtain 
supplies  pending  his  promised  departure  into  Oregon.  Little  more  than 
a  month  later,  however,  Fremont's  followers  joined  him  near  San  Jose, 
marched  across  the  Santa  Clara  Valley  and  through  the  Santa  Cruz 
Mountains,  and  camped  near  Monterey. 

Promptly  ordered  to  leave  the  country,  Fremont  made  a  show  of 
resistance,  swearing  that  "if  we  are  hemmed  in  and  assaulted  we  will 
die,  every  man  of  us  under  the  flag  of  our  country."  Being  neither 
hemmed  in  nor  assaulted,  Fremont's  party  withdrew  up  the  Sacramento 
Valley  to  Sutter's  Fort  and  proceeded  north  toward  Oregon.  His  mar- 
tial depredations  caused  Larkin  to  petition  Consul  John  Parrott  at 
Mazatlan  to  send  a  warship  to  Monterey. 

Whether  acting  on  secret  orders  received  from  the  United  States 
State  Department  or  on  his  own  initiative,  Fremont  suddenly  retraced 
his  steps  and  set  up  headquarters  at  Marysville  Buttes  in  the  Sierra  foot- 
hills. From  here  a  party  of  about  a  dozen  Yankee  hunters  and  trappers 
— in  command  of  Ezekiel  Merritt,  a  settler  from  Rancho  Barranca 
Colorado  (Red  Bluff) — was  ordered  by  Fremont  to  seize  170  horses 
being  taken  from  Sonoma  to  Santa  Clara  by  a  party  of  Castro's  men. 
The  captured  animals  having  been  delivered  to  Fremont's  new  camp  on 
the  Bear  River,  Merritt's  party  of  20  marauders  crossed  the  hills  into 
Napa  Valley,  where  they  were  joined  by  12  or  13  recruits. 


26        SAN     FRANCISCO 

At  daybreak  on  June  14,  General  Mariano  G.  Vallejo  in  his  house 
at  Sonoma  was  roused  without  warning  by  this  little  band  of  men  and 
called  upon  to  surrender.  Somewhat  puzzled,  but  courteous  as  always, 
he  invited  them  in.  On  being  informed  that  they  were  acting  under 
Fremont's  orders,  he  proceeded  to  wine  and  dine  his  callers  to  the 
point  of  stupor  while  terms  of  surrender  were  being  discussed.  At 
length  the  captors  were  able  to  agree  on  a  declaration  to  which  three 
of  them  put  their  names — Ezekial  Merritt,  Robert  Semple,  and  William 
Fallon.  They  presented  it  to  Vallejo:  "We,  the  undersigned  having 
resolved  to  establish  a  government  upon  republican  principles,  in  con- 
nection with  others  of  our  fellow-citizens,  and  having  taken  up  arms  to 
support  it,  we  have  taken  three  Mexican  officers  as  prisoners:  Gen.  M. 
G.  Vallejo,  Lieut.  Col.  Victor  Prudhon  and  Capt.  Salvador  Vallejo." 
But  dissension  then  broke  the  ranks  of  the  insurrectionists,  frightened 
by  the  magnitude  of  their  exploit.  William  B.  Ide,  a  Yankee  settler 
with  the  gift  of  oratory,  saved  the  day.  Cried  he:  "I  will  lay  my  bones 
here  before  I  will  take  upon  myself  the  ignominy  of  commencing  an 
honorable  work  and  then  flee  like  cowards,  like  thieves,  when  no  enemy 
is  in  sight.  In  vain  will  you  say  you  had  honorable  motives.  Who  will 
believe  it?  Flee  this  day,  and  the  longest  life  cannot  wear  out  your 
disgrace!  .  .  .  We  are  robbers,  or  we  must  be  conquerors!" 

Taking  possession  of  the  pueblo  without  opposition,  the  rebels  im- 
patiently hauled  down  the  Mexican  flag.  It  occurred  to  them  that  a 
new  flag  was  needed  to  replace  it.  On  a  piece  of  homespun  to  which 
was  attached  a  strip  of  red  flannel  they  painted  a  red  star  and  the 
crude  figure  of  a  grizzly  bear.  "My  countrymen,"  orated  Lieutenant 
Henry  L.  Ford  as  the  new  standard  was  hoisted  up  the  flagpole,  "we 
have  taken  upon  ourselves  a  damned  big  contract."  But  the  insurgents' 
chosen  leader,  William  B.  Ide,  who  promptly  dubbed  himself  "Com- 
mander-in-chief" and  later  "President  of  the  California  Republic,"  was 
undaunted.  He  invited  "all  peaceable  and  good  citizens  of  Califor- 
nia ...  to  repair  to  my  camp  at  Sonoma,  without  delay,  to  assist  us  in 
establishing  and  perpetuating  a  Republican  government,  which  shall 
secure  to  all  civil  and  religious  liberty,  which  shall  encourage  virtue 
and  literature ;  which  shall  leave  unshackled  by  fetters,  agriculture,  com- 
merce and  manufactures." 

Though  Fremont  would  admit  no  direct  responsibility  for  the  "Bear 
Flag"  rebellion,  he  ordered  the  arrest  of  Jacob  Leese,  Vallejo's  brother- 
in-law,  because  he  was  a  "bad  man";  and  according  to  Leese's  account, 
he  also  threatened  to  hang  Sutter  for  demanding  that  consideration  be 
shown  a  man  of  Vallejo's  pro-American  sympathies.  It  was  generally 
assumed,  by  both  Yankee  settlers  and  Califomios  in  the  Bay  region, 
that  Fremont  was  in  command  of  a  movement  to  seize  the  territory. 

General  Castro,  learning  of  the  affair  at  Sonoma,  sent  a  force  of 


A     FRONTIER     TO     CONQUER         27 

50  or  60  men  under  Joaquin  de  la  Torre  to  attack  the  "Bears."  March- 
ing northward  from  San  Rafael,  De  la  Torre's  contingent  was  joined 
by  Juan  Padilla's  roving  bandits.  On  the  morning  of  June  24,  1846, 
the  California*  were  attacked  at  the  Olompali  Rancho  near  Petaluma  by 
17  or  1 8  men  under  Lieutenant  Henry  L.  Ford.  After  a  charge  in 
which  one  of  De  la  Torre's  men  was  killed  and  several  wounded  by 
Ford's  riflemen,  the  Calif ornios  retired  and  the  Americans  returned  to 
Sonoma. 

Until  this  first  battle  of  the  war  Fremont  had  taken  no  open  part 
in  the  events  which  his  presence  doubtless  had  precipitated.  Now, 
however,  as  he  says  in  his  Memoirs,  "I  have  decided  that  it  was  for  me 
to  govern  events  rather  than  to  be  governed  by  them.  I  represent  the 
Army  and  the  Flag  of  the  United  States."  Furthermore  he  realized 
that  "at  last  the  time  had  come  when  England  must  not  get  a  foothold; 
that  we  must  be  first.  I  was  to  act,  discreetly  but  positively."  And 
act  he  did,  though  neither  he  nor  his  Mexican  opponents  were  as  yet 
aware  that  their  respective  countries  were  already  at  war  below  the 
Rio  Grande. 

Arriving  at  Sonoma  on  June  25,  Fremont  assumed  command  of  the 
Bears  and  with  a  combined  force  of  130  men  marched  to  meet  De  la 
Torre's  detachment  at  San  Rafael.  Here  occurred  an  incident  which 
ever  since  has  blemished  Fremont's  reputation.  This  was  the  murder 
of  three  innocent  Californios — the  twin  sons  of  Yerba  Buena's  first 
alcalde,  Francisco  de  Haro,  and  old  Don  Jose  Berryesa,  father  of  the 
alcalde  of  Sonoma  who  was  then  among  Fremont's  prisoners  at  Sutter's 
Fort.  On  being  informed  by  Kit  Carson  that  these  three  were  about 
to  land  from  a  boat  at  Point  San  Pedro,  Fremont  is  reported  to  have 
said :  "I  have  no  room  for  prisoners."  Kit  Carson,  G.  P.  Swift,  and 
one  of  Fremont's  trappers  shot  down  the  three  unarmed  men. 

Outnumbered  and  badly  armed,  De  la  Torre's  forces  fled  across  the 
Bay  to  join  Jose  Castro's  at  Santa  Clara.  Following  Fremont's  raid 
on  the  old  Castillo  de  San  Joaquin,  Dr.  Robert  Semple,  participant  in 
the  Bear  Flag  affair  at  Sonoma,  led  ten  men  on  a  foray  into  Yerba 
Buena  which  captured  Robert  Ridley,  ex-factor  of  the  local  Hudson's 
Bay  Company  post. 

After  thus  putting  down  all  military  resistance  of  the  Californios 
in  the  Bay  region  Fremont  returned  to  Sonoma  to  declare  the  inde- 
pendence of  California  and  place  the  country  under  martial  law  for 
the  duration  of  the  conflict.  While  continuing  "in  pursuit  of  Castro" 
in  the  valley  of  the  Sacramento  (actually  Castro  already  had  begun  his 
retreat  southward  from  Santa  Clara),  Fremont  received  news  that  the 
United  States  naval  commander  on  the  Pacific  Coast,  Commodore  John 
D.  Sloat,  had  raised  the  American  flag  at  Monterey  and  had  ordered 
the  U.S.S.  Portsmouth  to  do  likewise  at  Yerba  Buena.  Thenceforth 


28         SAN     FRANCISCO 

the  Bay  region  heard  only  distant  rumblings  as  the  Yankee  invasion 
progressed  southward  with  mild  skirmishes  in  the  Salinas  Valley,  to  end 
at  last  in  a  decisive  victory  for  the  Americans  at  San  Gabriel,  January 
8-9,  1847- 

The  Treaty  of  Guadalupe  Hidalgo,  February  2,  1848,  gave  Cali- 
fornia to  the  United  States.  The  Bay  region's  Bear  Flag  war  was  only 
an  incident  in  the  hasty  transfer  of  a  vast  territory  from  one  nation 
to  another.  But  it  marked  the  beginning  of  a  new  era,  and  the  end 
of  an  old  one.  And  Jose  Castro  himself,  comandante-general  of  the 
forces  of  the  north  in  the  struggle  of  the  Calif ornios  against  the  Yankee 
invaders,  foresaw  in  some  degree  what  that  new  era  would  be  like 
when  he  told  an  assembly  at  Monterey:  "These  Americans  are  so  con- 
triving that  some  day  they  will  build  ladders  to  touch  the  sky,  and 
once  in  the  heavens  they  will  change  the  whole  face  of  the  universe 
and  even  the  color  of  the  stars." 


Emporium  of  a  New 


".  .  .  San  Francisco  .  .  .  the  sole  emporium  of  a  new  world, 
the  awakened  Pacific  .  .    " 

—  RICHARD  HENRY  DANA 


HARDLY  had  the  dead  hand  of  Mexican  rule  been  lifted  from 
the  Bay  region  when  the  Gold  Rush  struck  it  like  a  hurricane. 
The  thousands  who  flocked  to  the  shores  of  San  Francisco 
Bay  in  1848  at  first  asked  little.  But  when  the  excitement  died  down 
the  little  gold  frontier  town  had  become  a  city,  and  its  people  demanded 
much:  wharves,  and  dry  paved  streets;  homes  and  stores,  with  firm 
foundations  on  which  to  build  them;  and  a  transportation  system  that 
would  encompass  not  only  the  land  about  the  Bay,  but  the  Bay  itself. 
Almost  overnight  the  fleet  of  steamers  and  sailing  ships  which  glutted 
with  the  manufactured  products  of  Eastern  merchants  the  wharves  of 
San  Francisco,  Stockton,  and  Sacramento  established  the  Bay's  mari- 
time supremacy  on  the  Pacific  Coast. 

Mining  camps  developed  into  towns  and  cities  amid  the  rich  agri- 
cultural lands  of  the  Sacramento  and  San  Joaquin  valleys;  and  around 
the  old  pueblos  of  San  Jose  and  Santa  Clara  the  vast  ranches  of  the 
Mexicans  and  Spaniards  became  orchards,  fields,  and  vineyards.  From 
these,  and  from  the  soil  of  Sonoma  County,  from  Napa  Valley  and 
from  the  counties  of  the  contra  costa,  would  come  the  "green  gold" 
which  a  vast  system  of  canneries  and  packing  houses  now  prepares  for 
distribution  all  over  the  world.  To  supply  this  populous  hinterland 
with  commodities,  and  to  bring  down  to  the  harbors  of  the  Bay  its  tons 
of  exports,  a  network  of  railroads  and  highways,  bridges  .and  improved 
inland  waterways  had  to  be  established.  Throughout  almost  a  century 
Bay  region  industrialists,  farmers,  and  shippers  have  had  to  struggle 
with  problems  of  engineering  to  overcome  deficiencies  in  an  area  other- 
wise ideally  suited  to  the  building  of  prosperous  communities  and  metro- 
politan centers. 

For  all  its  magnificence  and  its  utility,  San  Francisco  Bay  was, 
until  completion  of  its  two  great  bridges,  an  obstacle  to  transportation 
which  prevented  development  of  large  sections  of  Marin  County;  and 
it  isolated  the  industrial  centers  of  the  East  Bay  from  financial  and 
distribution  facilities  of  San  Francisco.  Phenomenally  rapid  as  its 
progress  has  been,  this  new  unity,  which  engineering  has  accomplished, 
assures  a  future  of  more  intense  and  orderly  development  for  all  com- 
munities of  the  Bay  region. 

29 


3O         SAN     FRANCISCO 

Today,  the  San  Francisco  Bay  region  is  the  market  place  and  work- 
shop for  a  population  of  nearly  2,000,000  people — a  great  harbor  ringed 
with  factory  smokestacks,  sheltering  vessels  from  all  ports  of  the  globe, 
terminus  of  transcontinental  railroads  and  airlines  and  home  base  of 
the  Pacific  Clippers  flying  to  the  Orient.  Ranking  second  in  value  of 
water-borne  commerce  of  all  United  States  ports,  the  San  Francisco 
Bay  area  has  become  the  Pacific  Coast's  largest  distribution  center  and 
the  West's  financial  capital.  Among  30  industrial  areas  of  the  Nation, 
it  ranked  sixth  as  a  manufacturing  center,  with  an  industrial  output 
of  more  than  $800,000,000  in  1935.  Its  wholesale  trade  volume  of 
$*> 353,7 JO  for  the  same  year  was  larger  than  the  value  of  its  water- 
borne  commerce;  and  the  value  of  its  retail  trade  was  half  as  large. 

WORLD  PORT 

John  Masefield's  "dirty  British  coaster  with  salt-caked  smokestacks" 
is  but  one  of  the  myriad  craft,  from  nations  all  over  the  world,  which 
have  come  and  gone  through  the  Golden  Gate  since  Lieutenant  Manuel 
de  Ayala's  little  San  Carlos  first  dropped  anchor  in  San  Francisco  Bay 
in  1775.  Across  the  racing  tides  of  that  narrow  channel  have  swept 
the  white  sails  of  the  clipper  ships  that  brought  the  Argonauts ;  through 
it  have  steamed  sidewheelers  and  modern  freighters,  sleek  liners  and 
palatial  yachts,  naval  armadas  and  army  transports;  and  casting  brief 
shadows  of  the  future  upon  it,  and  upon  the  mighty  bridge  which  spans 
the  strait,  the  silver  wings  of  clipper  planes  go  soaring  out  across  the 
Pacific. 

The  pioneer  Pacific  Mail  Steamship  Company's  i,ooo-ton  side- 
wheeler,  California,  already  had  sailed  from  New  York  for  the  Pacific 
Coast  by  way  of  Cape  Horn,  with  no  passengers,  when  the  news  of 
the  discovery  of  gold  in  California  reached  the  East.  When  the  Cali- 
fornia anchored  at  Panama  on  January  30,  1849,  she  found  hundreds 
of  frenzied  gold-hunters  who  had  made  their  way  across  the  Isthmus 
awaiting  her.  On  February  28,  topheavy  with  several  times  her  capacity 
of  loo  passengers,  she  steamed  through  the  Golden  Gate — the  first 
vessel  to  round  Cape  Horn  under  her  own  steam  and  sail  into  the  Bay 
of  San  Francisco.  Pacific  Mail  promptly  hurried  completion  of  two 
sister  ships;  but  these  were  not  enough.  Its  fleet  rapidly  grew  to  29 
steamships  destined  to  carry  175,000  people  to  San  Francisco  within 
:a  decade. 

During  the  height  of  the  Gold  Rush,  however,  demand  so  far  out- 
distanced supply  in  the  maritime  industry  that  chaos  reigned,  retarding 
for  several  years  development  of  regular  and  systematic  commercial 
facilities.  The  rapid  increase  in  population — from  about  860  to  almost 
42,000  by  the  end  of  1852  in  San  Francisco  alone — brought  a  wide  and 


EMPORIUM     OF     A     NEW     WORLD         31 

insistent  demand  for  manufactured  goods,  tools,  machinery  and  food 
products  which  undeveloped  local  industry  could  not  supply.  Eastern 
shippers,  without  accurate  knowledge  of  local  requirements,  sent  tons 
of  merchandise  for  which  San  Francisco  could  find  no  use.  The  market 
was  glutted ;  prices  crashed ;  goods  of  every  description  were  left  to  rot 
in  the  holds  of  ships,  on  the  wharves,  and  in  the  city  streets.  Fully  as 
demoralizing  to  maritime  commerce  was  the  wholesale  desertion  of 
ship's  crews,  who  joined  the  wild  rush  to  the  mines.  San  Francisco 
Bay  in  the  early  fifties  presented  a  sight  seldom  seen  in  the  history  of 
the  world:  a  veritable  forest  of  masts  rising  from  hundreds  of  aban- 
doned ships. 

With  the  gradual  stabilization  of  trading  conditions,  however,  mari- 
time commerce  was  revived  until  the  rapid  increase  in  shipping  made 
necessary  the  immediate  building  of  extensive  piers  and  docking  facilities. 
Prior  to  the  Gold  Rush  all  cargoes  had  been  lightered  ashore  in  small 
boats,  usually  to  the  rocky  promontory  of  Clark's  Point  at  the  foot 
of  Telegraph  Hill.  When  in  the  winter  of  1848  the  revenue  steamer 
James  K.  Polk  was  run  aground  at  the  present  intersection  of  Vallejo 
and  Battery  Streets — at  that  time  part  of  the  water  front — the  narrow 
gangplank  laid  from  deck  to  shore  was  considered  a  distinct  advance 
in  harbor  facilities.  The  brig  Belfast  was  the  first  vessel  to  unload  at 
a  pier:  she  docked  in  1848  at  the  newly  completed  Broadway  Wharf — a 
board  structure  ten  feet  wide.  Others  were  soon  built.  By  October 
1850,  6,000  feet  of  wharfage  had  been  constructed  at  a  cost  of  $1,000,- 
ooo.  As  the  tidal  flats  were  filled  in,  the  piers  were  extended:  Com- 
mercial Wharf,  at  first  extending  only  30  feet  into  waters  only  two 
feet  deep,  became  Long  Wharf  as  it  was  lengthened  to  400  feet  to  pro- 
vide docking  facilities  for  deep  water  shipping. 

During  the  boom  years  of  the  1 850*5  competition  between  Eastern 
shippers  became  so  sharp  that  a  type  of  sailing  vessel  faster  than  the 
old  schooners  and  barques  constructed  on  the  lines  of  whaling  ships 
had  to  be  built.  Between  1850  and  1854,  J6o  fast  clipper  ships  were 
launched  on  the  Eastern  seaboard  to  supply  the  demand  for  speed  and 
more  speed  to  the  Pacific  Coast. 

"On  to  the  mines"  was  the  order  of  the  day  for  both  passengers  and 
cargoes  landed  on  San  Francisco's  water  front.  The  fastest  way  to  the 
mines  was  by  water — through  San  Pablo  Bay,  Carquinez  Strait,  and 
Suisun  Bay,  and  up  the  San  Joaquin  River  to  Stockton,  or  up  the  Sacra- 
mento to  the  town  named  for  it.  The  first  steamboat  in  the  Bay,  the 
37-foot  sidewheeler  Sitka,  imported  in  sections  from  the  Russian  settle- 
ment at  Sitka,  Alaska,  and  reassembled,  had  already  attempted  the  trip 
to  Sacramento,  requiring  six  days  and  seven  hours.  Vessels  better 
equipped  for  the  journey  were  soon  imported.  Meanwhile,  lighter  craft 
were  pressed  into  traveling  service.  Since  1835,  when  William  A. 


32         SAN     FRANCISCO 

Richardson  had  begun  operating  two  3Oton  schooners  with  Indian 
crews  to  transport  the  produce  of  missions  and  ranches  from  San  Fran- 
cisco and  San  Jose  to  trading  vessels  anchored  in  the  Bay,  a  variety  of 
small  vessels  had  plied  the  waters  inside  the  Golden  Gate.  In  1850 
Captain  Thomas  Gray's  propeller  steamer  Kangaroo  began  the  first 
regular  run,  twice  weekly,  between  San  Francisco  and  San  Antonio 
Landing  (now  Oakland)  in  the  East  Bay.  On  September  2,  1863,  the 
San  Francisco  and  Oakland  Railroad  Company,  first  in  the  Bay  region, 
began  running  the  Contra  Costa  six  times  daily  from  its  Oakland 
wharf  to  Broadway  Wharf  in  San  Francisco;  and  the  following  year, 
the  San  Francisco  and  Alameda  Railroad  Company  inaugurated  train- 
ferry  service  from  Alameda  Wharf  with  the  Sophie  McLane.  At  the 
Alameda  Wharf,  on  September  6,  1869,  the  steamer  Alameda  took  on 
the  first  boatload  of  passengers  arriving  on  the  Pacific  Coast  by  trans- 
continental railroad. 

After  the  opening  of  ferry  slips  at  the  two-mile  Oakland  Long 
Wharf  in  1871  and  at  a  new  San  Fransisco  passenger  station  at  the 
foot  of  Market  Street  four  years  later,  the  ferry  fleet  grew  rapidly  in 
size.  In  1879  the  world's  largest  ferry,  the  Solano,  began  transport- 
ing whole  railroad  trains  across  Suisun  Bay  from  Benicia  to  Port  Costa. 
The  ferry  system  was  extended  until  by  1930  the  43  boats  operating 
between  San  Francisco  and  Oakland,  Alameda,  Berkeley,  Sausalito,  and 
Vallejo  comprised  the  largest  transportation  enterprise  of  its  kind  in  the 
world;  in  that  year  they  carried  a  total  of  more  than  40,000,000  pas- 
sengers. 

The  lifting  of  the  Mexican  regime's  restrictive  measures  against 
foreign  trading  brought  the  Pacific  whalers  to  San  Francisco.  As  early 
as  1800,  whaling  vessels  had  begun  to  anchor  in  sheltered  Richardson's 
Bay,  then  known  as  Whaler's  Bay,  off  the  site  of  Sausalito,  where  they 
took  on  wood  and  water.  The  first  captain  of  the  port,  shrewd  William 
A.  Richardson,  had  collected  fees  for  piloting  the  whalers  to  their 
anchorage.  But  Mexican  regulations  and  tariffs  forced  the  whaling 
industry  to  base  its  operations  in  the  Sandwich  Islands.  After  Ameri- 
can occupation,  San  Francisco  merchants,  foreseeing  profits  to  be  gained 
from  yearly  outfitting  of  the  whalers  and  their  crews,  made  hardy  efforts 
to  center  the  industry  here.  They  succeeded  to  such  an  extent  that  by 
1865  a  total  of  34  whalers,  with  a  combined  tonnage  of  11,000  tons,, 
anchored  in  the  Bay. 

As  late  as  1888,  San  Francisco  was  still  Pacific  Coast  whaling  head- 
quarters. But  the  whaling  fleet  dwindled  rapidly  after  1900 — as  tug- 
boats for  pursuit  ("killer"  ships)  and  steam-driven  processing  plants 
(factory  ships)  supplanted  sailing  vessels — until  in  1938  the  California 
Whaling  Company,  sole  survivor  in  the  industry,  called  in  for  the  last 
time  its  remaining  ships. 


EMPORIUM     OF     A     NEW     WORLD         33 

Within  two  decades  after  the  building  of  its  first  wharf,  the  tip  of 
the  San  Francisco  Peninsula  was  saw-toothed  with  piers.  The  water 
front  had  been  pushed  into  the  Bay  as  the  shallow  waters  of  Yerba 
Buena  Cove  were  filled  in.  In  1873,  two  years  after  control  of  the 
San  Francisco  water  front  had  been  acquired  by  the  State,  the  con- 
struction of  a  great  sea  wall  was  begun  by  the  State  Board  of  Harbor 
Commissioners;  and  in  1878,  the  aoo-foot  wide  Embarcadero  was  laid 
out.  San  Francisco's  great  era  of  maritime  commerce  was  entering  into 
the  full  stride  of  its  phenomenal  development. 

While  shovels  and  picks  and  gold  pans  rusted  in  thousands  of  back 
yards,  the  State  turned  from  gold  mining  to  agriculture  and  manufac- 
turing. Sacramento  and  Stockton,  great  mining  centers  during  the 
Gold  Rush,  became  agricultural  capitals  of  northern  California.  The 
two  great  rivers  sweeping  inland  to  these  cities  became  arteries  of  com- 
merce. Barges  and  river  boats  stopped  at  numberless  docks  and  land- 
ings to  pick  up  the  diversified  products  of  the  rich  land  that  swept  for 
miles  on  either  side  of  the  broad  rivers.  And  the  products  of  the  great 
agricultural  hinterland,  flowing  into  San  Francisco  Bay,  contributed 
heavily  to  its  export  trade.  From  1860  to  1875  exports  from  San 
Francisco  grew  in  value  from  $8,532,439  to  $33,554,o8i.  By  1889 
the  figure  had  increased  to  $47,274,090  and  imports  had  grown  corre- 
spondingly in  value. 

The  era  of  the  clipper  ships,  which  had  abandoned  the  San  Fran- 
cisco run  and  entered  the  China  trade,  had  given  way  to  a  new  phase 
of  shipping  which  called  for  the  transport  of  heavy  industrial  products 
and  for  the  expansion  of  foreign  trade.  Successors  to  the  clipper  ships 
were  square-rigged  sailing  vessels,  sturdily  built,  with  spacious  holds, 
for  carrying  heavy  cargoes  of  freight,  fish,  and  agricultural  products. 
Only  when  displaced  by  the  fast  freight  steamers  of  the  late  nineteenth 
century  did  the  square-riggers  pass  from  the  shipping  lanes  and  from 
San  Francisco  Bay.  The  ships  of  the  Alaska  Packers'  fleet,  last  of  these 
great  windjammers,  were  dismantled  early  in  the  I93o's.  Meanwhile 
the  first  of  the  roving  cargo  carriers  known  as  "tramp  steamers"  had 
passed  through  the  Golden  Gate  in  1874.  By  the  end  of  the  following 
year  more  than  30  of  these  vessels  had  arrived.  Their  number  increased 
rapidly  until  the  rise  late  in  the  century  of  the  great  modern  steam- 
ship lines,  which  absorbed  the  independent  shippers  who  had  dominated 
the  pioneer  era.  By  the  middle  1870*8  the  growth  of  logging  camps  and 
sawmills  in  the  timber  regions  of  the  State  had  also  created  a  demand 
for  large  fleets  of  freighters. 

Regular  monthly  service  for  freight  and  passengers  was  established 
between  San  Francisco  and  the  Orient  in  1867  by  the  Pacific  Mail 
Steamship  Company,  which  had  for  several  years  prior  been  transport- 
ing thousands  of  Chinese  coolies  to  supply  the  demand  for  cheap  labor 


34         SAN     FRANCISCO 

during  the  building  of  the  Central  Pacific  Railroad.  By  1878  the 
Pacific  Mail  had  established  regular  sailings  to  Honolulu,  carrying 
merchandise  which  was  exchanged  for  raw  sugar,  pineapples,  coffee,  and 
hides.  Five  years  later  the  Oceanic  Steamship  Company  entered  this 
lucrative  field  of  trade,  and  in  1885  extended  its  service  to  the  ports  of 
Australia  and  New  Zealand.  Within  the  following  decade  the  names 
of  William  Matson  and  Robert  Dollar  were  becoming  known  in  mari- 
time circles.  As  sea-borne  commerce  expanded  during  the  last  two 
decades  of  the  nineteenth  century,  other  lines  developed.  Among  these 
pioneers  of  American  shipping  on  the  Pacific  Coast  were  the  American- 
Hawaiian,  United  Fruit,  and  Panama-Pacific  Lines.  The  Kosmos  Line, 
later  absorbed  by  the  Hamburg- American  Steamship  Company,  inaugu- 
rated the  first  monthly  sailings  to  Hamburg  and  other  European  ports 
in  1899.  By  1916  the  American-Hawaiian  Steamship  Company's  fleet 
of  26  steamers  with  a  capacity  of  296,000  tons  was  said  to  be  the  largest 
tonnage  under  single  ownership  operating  under  the  flag  of  the  United 
States. 

When  the  Panama  Canal  was  opened  in  July  1914,  the  maritime 
commerce  of  San  Francisco  Bay  entered  its  modern  epoch  of  expansion. 
Along  San  Francisco's  Embarcadero,  until  the  outbreak  of  the  war  at 
the  end  of  1939,  were  represented  almost  200  steamship  companies 
whose  vessels,  both  of  domestic  and  foreign  registry,  called  at  nearly 
every  port  of  the  seven  seas.  Of  these,  at  least  half  were  engaged  in 
coastwise,  intercoastal,  or  transatlantic  trade  service  (via  Panama 
Canal)  ;  the  others  trade  with  Mexico  and  Latin  America,  Hawaii, 
Australia  and  the  Orient,  the  African  coasts,  or  offered  round-the- 
world  passenger  service.  From  Puget  Sound  to  Madagascar  are 
known  the  huge  dollar-sign  insignia  of  Dollar  Steamship  Company  ships 
(lately  superseded  by  the  spread  eagle  of  the  American  President  Lines), 
the  blue-and-white  smokestacks  of  California  and  Hawaiian,  and  the 
Matson  Line's  substantial  "M."  No  less  familiar  to  San  Franciscans 
and  other  Bay  region  residents  are  neat  Dutch  liners  and  freighters 
bound  for  Rotterdam  or  Antwerp  out  of  Batavia  in  the  East  Indies,  for 
which  San  Francisco  was  a  regular  port-of-call.  The  ships  of  Japan, 
British  ships  from  India  and  east  African  ports,  ships  from  the  Scan- 
dinavian countries  and  the  Balkans  were  seen  alongside  piers  of  San 
Francisco's  water  front  or  in  other  harbors  around  the  Bay.  Most 
commonplace  of  all,  however,  are  those  coastwise  freighters  which  butt 
in  and  out  of  ports  all  the  way  from  Vancouver  to  Valparaiso. 

Among  San  Francisco's  chief  imports  today  are  copra,  sugar,  coffee, 
and  vegetable  oils;  paper  and  burlap;  fertilizer  and  nitrates.  Chief 
exports  are  petroleum  products;  canned,  dried,  and  fresh  fruit;  lumber; 
flour  and  rice;  canned  and  cured  fish;  explosives  and  manufactured 
goods.  BetweeJi  1926  and  1936  San  Francisco  shipped  63  per  cent  of 


EMPORIUM     OF     A     NEW     WORLD         35 

the  total  volume  of  canned,  and  70  per  cent  of  the  dried,  fruit  exported 
from  the  Nation.  In  return  for  the  goods  which  it  ships  away,  San 
Francisco  Bay  receives  from  the  whole  Pacific  Basin  its  products  for 
distribution  throughout  the  West.  Of  the  35,000,000  tons  of  inbound 
and  outbound  cargo  cleared  by  California  ports  in  1935,  San  Francisco 
Bay  handled  17,000,000.  In  total  commerce  it  ranked  fourth  among 
all  commercial  centers  in  the  country. 

The  Port  of  San  Francisco  is  much  more  than  the  17^2  miles  of 
berthing  space  which  flank  San  Francisco's  Ferry  Building  on  either 
side.  Actually  it  consists  of  the  series  of  bays  extending  northeast  from 
the  Golden  Gate  to  the  confluence  of  the  Sacramento  and  San  Joaquin 
Rivers  and  southward  almost  to  San  Jose.  Harbor  facilities  are  sup- 
plied by  the  half-dozen  cities  and  industrial  centers  scattered  along  100 
miles  of  shoreline  enclosing  450  square  miles  of  water.  These  ports 
within  a  port  are  as  interdependent  as  are  the  economies  of  the  different 
cities  and  towns  of  the  Bay  region. 

Thus  a  vessel  in  from  the  Hawaiian  Islands  may  discharge  pineapple 
at  San  Francisco  and  raw  sugar  at  Crockett  before  proceeding  to  the 
Port  of  Oakland  to  take  on  a  cargo  of  canned  and  dried  fruits  for  the 
Orient,  or  a  coastwise  vessel  up  from  Nicaragua  or  Honduras  with  a 
hold  full  of  green  coffee  will  unload  at  San  Francisco  before  crossing 
to  Oakland  for  automobiles  for  South  or  Central  America.  A  tanker 
coming  in  through  the  Gate  may  steam  directly  to  the  Standard  Oil 
docks  at  Richmond,  or  the  Shell  pier  at  Martinez;  or  it  may  make  for 
the  Selby  Smelting  Company's  wharf  at  Selby. 

An  air  view  of  San  Francisco  Bay's  littoral — its  miles  of  public 
and  private  wharfage;  its  manifold  industrial  plants  crowding  the 
water's  edge;  its  deep-water  anchorage  for  warships;  its  airports  and 
islands  and  dockyards — will  alone  reveal  the  stupendous  picture  of  this 
port.  And  in  October  1936  travelers  to  and  from  San  Francisco  Bay 
were  provided  with  such  a  view  when  Pan-American  Airways  launched 
the  first  transpacific  commercial  passenger  flight  to  Manila.  To  the 
historic  roll  call  of  ships  which  have  sailed  through  the  Golden  Gate — 
San  Carlos,  California,  Flying  Cloud,  galleons  and  square-riggers, 
whalers  and  tramp  steamers — was  added  one  more  name :  China  Clipper. 

SMOKESTACKS  AROUND  THE  BAY 

Less  than  a  century  spans  the  interval  between  the  primitive  looms 
and  forges,  kilns  and  winepresses  of  the  missions  around  the  Bay  and 
the  giant  factories,  shipbuilding  yards,  and  refineries  with  their  soaring 
smokestacks  that  congregate  about  the  water's  edge  today.  Where 
cattle  grazed  the  lonely  hills — almost  within  the  memory  of  living 
men — furnishing  hides  for  the  illicit  trade  with  Yankee  sea  captains, 


36         SAN     FRANCISCO 

now  rise  Contra  Costa's  sugar  and  oil  refineries,  steel  mills,  explosive 
and  chemical  plants.  Where  whaling  boats  embarked  from  San  Antonio 
Landing  to  carry  wild  fowl,  bear,  and  deer  across  the  Bay  to  market, 
now  spreads  the  East  Bay's  crowded  belt  of  canneries  and  factories. 
And  where  whalers  and  hide  traders  once  tied  up  on  the  other  side  of 
the  water,  San  Francisco's  printing  and  coffee  roasting  plants,  meat- 
packing and  canning  establishments  crowd  to  the  shore. 

The  infant  city  by  the  Golden  Gate  grew  rich  overnight  as  indus- 
tries sprang  up  to  supply  and  outfit  the  Gold  Rush  population.  Within 
little  more  than  a  decade  after  Stephen  Smith  had  established  his  steam- 
powered  grist-  and  sawmill — California's  first — at  Bodega  in  1843,  San 
Francisco  had  built  stagecoach  and  wagon  factories,  flour  mills,  and 
breweries.  Boot  and  shoe  factories  and  plants  for  the  grading  and 
manufacture  of  wool  endeavored  to  fill  the  need  for  clothing  and  blan- 
kets. As  was  natural  in  a  city  which  was  in  the  habit  of  burning  down 
two  or  three  times  a  year,  lumber  mills  flourished.  To  supply  the 
miners'  demands  for  picks  and  shovels  and  pans,  the  Donahue  Brothers 
established  their  foundry  (later  the  Union  Iron  Works)  as  early  as 
1849.  Since  metal  was  scarce,  San  Francisco's  pioneer  machine  shops 
and  iron  moulders  were  soon  hammering  iron  wagon  wheel  rims  and 
harness  chains  into  miners'  tools. 

After  the  overland  railroad  began  providing  transportation  to  and 
from  the  East  for  both  freight  and  passengers  in  1869,  San  Francisco's 
industries  expanded  rapidly.  The  development  of  quartz  mining  and 
the  growth  of  large-scale  agriculture  spurred  the  manufacture  of  mining 
and  milling  equipment.  Other  leading  industries  during  this  era,  in 
order  of  importance,  were  breweries  and  malt  houses,  sash  and  blind 
mills,  boot  and  shoe  factories,  tin-ware  manufacturing,  flour  milling, 
and  wool  grading  and  manufacture.  Of  lesser  importance  were  the  tan- 
neries, coffee  and  spice  processors  (now  one  of  the  city's  leading  indus- 
tries), rolling  mills,  box  factories,  soap  works,  cracker  factories,  and 
packing  plants.  Over  all,  annual  industrial  output  for  the  two  decades 
of  1870-90  rose  from  $22,000,000  to  $120,000,000. 

The  rapidly  expanding  mining  industry  had  created  a  tremendous 
demand  for  special  mining  machinery.  By  1860  San  Francisco  had  14 
foundries  and  machine  shops  employing  222  men  and  turning  out  nearly 
$1,250,000  worth  of  products  annually.  With  the  development  of 
quartz  mining  and  the  growth  of  mining  in  Nevada,  it  became  the  un- 
disputed Western  capital  for  mining  machinery.  But  mine  machinery 
did  not  long  remain  the  sole  concern  of  local  industry  and  soon,  with 
typical  audacity,  the  comparatively  inexperienced  machine  shops  of  San 
Francisco  blithely  were  turning  out  such  complex  pieces  of  workmanship 
as  railway  locomotives,  flour  mills,  steamships  and  lesser  objects  of 
everyday  utility.  By  the  end  of  the  nineteenth  century,  San  Francisco's 


EMPORIUM     OF     A     NEW     WORLD         37 

machine  shops  constituted  an  industry  of  international  stature,  supply- 
ing flour-milling  machinery  and  equipment  for  the  entire  Pacific  area, 
including  such  widely  separated  places  as  South  and  Central  America, 
Japan,  China,  Mexico,  New  Zealand,  Siberia,  and  Australia. 

When  the  miners  turned  away  from  the  creeks  and  climbed  the  hills 
to  follow  the  quartz  ledges,  they  needed  explosives.  It  was  in  San 
Francisco  in  1867  that  Julius  Bandmann  took  over  exclusive  rights  to 
manufacture  dynamite  under  the  Nobel  patents.  At  his  plant  in  Rock 
Canyon  he  put  together  and  discharged  two  pounds  of  dynamite — the 
first,  so  far  as  can  be  determined,  ever  to  be  manufactured  in  the 
United  States.  In  1888  he  moved  his  plant  to  Contra  Costa  County, 
where  it  became  the  Giant  Corporation,  a  subsidiary  of  the  Atlas  Cor- 
poration. As  the  West  began  tearing  down  whole  mountains  to  dam 
rivers  and  blasting  highways  along  granite  cliffs,  other  explosive  manu- 
facturing plants  were  opened — the  Hercules  at  Pinole  and  the  Trojan 
at  Oakland. 

In  1865  Thomas  Selby,  a  San  Francisco  hardware  merchant,  built  a 
tall  tower  at  First  and  Howard  Streets  for  the  purpose  of  dropping 
lead  shot.  But  the  lead  ore,  mined  in  California  and  Nevada,  had  first 
to  make  the  long  trip  to  Europe  for  smelting.  Selby  began  to  smelt  the 
ore  himself  in  a  small  plant  in  North  Beach.  The  business  grew  and 
he  moved,  first  to  Black  Point,  then  to  Contra  Costa  County.  In  1905 
the  Selby  plant  was  taken  over  by  the  American  Smelting  Company.  Its 
tall  chimney  can  be  seen  for  miles  around.  Some  of  the  ore  from  the 
famous  mines  of  California  and  Nevada  has  been  treated  there — anti- 
mony, lead,  silver,  and  gold,  including  all  of  the  latter  two  metals 
needed  by  the  United  States  Mint  in  San  Francisco. 

Another  industry  which  had  gained  an  early  foothold  in  San  Fran- 
cisco was  sugar  refining.  The  story  of  how  a  German  immigrant  boy, 
Claus  Spreckels,  graduated  from  his  small  San  Francisco  grocery  busi- 
ness to  become  a  millionaire  sugar  tycoon  is  typical  of  the  swashbuckling 
manner  in  which  many  robust  San  Francisco  pioneers  acquired  fortune 
and  fame.  Captain  Cook,  discovering  the  Sandwich  Islands — later  the 
Hawaiian  Islands — in  1788,  commented  on  the  size  and  fine  quality  of 
the  sugar  cane  he  found  growing  there.  Until  Spreckels  became  inter- 
ested, all  the  cane  from  the  Islands  passed  through  San  Francisco  on 
its  way  to  the  East  to  be  refined.  Acquiring  an  early  interest  in 
Hawaiian  plantation  lands  when  he  won  part  of  the  island  of  Mauai 
in  a  poker  game  with  Kalakaua,  the  island  king,  Spreckels  built  a 
refinery  here  in  1863.  Dissatisfied  with  results,  he  sold  out  and  went 
to  Germany,  France,  Austria,  and  Belgium  to  study  the  latest  methods 
of  refining.  Returning  to  San  Francisco,  he  built  a  second  refinery. 
In  1882  he  moved  his  plant  to  the  water  front  at  the  foot  of  Twenty- 
third  Street,  where  ships  from  the  Islands  could  unload  the  cane 


38         SAN     FRANCISCO 

directly  into  the  refinery.  There  he  installed  improved  methods  of  refin- 
ing. It  is  this  plant,  enlarged  and  reorganized,  which  today  is  the 
home  of  the  Western  Sugar  Refinery. 

The  California  and  Hawaiian  Sugar  Refinery  at  Crockett  in  Contra 
Costa  County,  a  comparatively  late  comer,  has  developed  into  a  giant 
corporation  that  grows,  mills,  refines,  and  distributes — as  sugar  and 
sugar  products — nearly  80  per  cent  of  all  the  cane  that  comes  from  the 
Hawaiian  Islands. 

Men  who  had  come  to  dig  gold  in  California  had  remained  to  farm. 
Soon  California's  fertile  inland  acres  were  sprouting  the  "green  gold" 
for  which  the  State  was  to  become  world  famous.  Even  before  the 
great  wheat  farms  of  the  1 870*5  and  i88o's  had  been  supplanted  by  fruit 
and  vegetable  ranches,  a  few  men  had  foreseen  that  this  "green  gold" 
might  be  shipped  to  the  whole  world  if  only  it  could  be  preserved  against 
perishability,  and  packaged. 

In  1854  Daniel  R.  Provost,  member  of  an  Eastern  fruit  preserving 
firm,  had  stepped  ashore  in  San  Francisco  to  represent  his  company  here. 
He  rented  a  small  building  on  Washington  Street,  where  he  repacked 
Eastern  jellies  in  small  glass  containers.  Two  years  later  he  enlarged 
the  business  and  began  to  make  preserves  and  jellies  from  California 
fruits.  This  was  the  first  time  native  fruit  had  been  preserved  commer- 
cially on  the  Pacific  Coast. 

Francis  Cutting  came  three  years  later.  He  went  into  the  fruit  and 
vegetable-preserving  business  on  Sacramento  Street,  where  his  unusual 
window  displays  attracted  hungry  customers.  He  added  tomatoes  to 
his  line  of  products  and  in  1860  received  a  shipment  of  Mason  jars 
which  were  well  received  in  San  Francisco.  People  began  to  refer  to 
San  Francisco  as  a  fruit-packing  center. 

In  1862  Cutting  received  from  Balitmore  his  first  shipment  of  tin 
plate,  at  a  cost  of  $16  a  box.  That  year  he  shipped  California  canned 
fruit  to  the  Fifth  Avenue  Hotel  in  New  York  City,  to  the  Continental 
Hotel  in  Philadelphia  and  to  the  Parker  House  in  Boston.  He  canned 
5,400  cases  of  California  fruit  in  1862.  California's  giant  canning 
industry  was  born.  In  1899  eleven  pioneer  companies  merged  to  become 
the  California  Fruit  Canners  Association.  The  industry  expanded 
rapidly. 

San  Francisco  developed  a  luxury  line  of  fruits  and  vegetables  put 
up  in  glass  containers  and  the  Illinois  Glass  Company  arrived  in  Oak- 
land to  provide  the  jars.  Typical  of  the  canning  industry  today  is  the 
California  Packing  Corporation — Calpak — which  owns  71  canneries, 
warehouses,  and  dried  fruit  plants,  and  many  thousands  of  acres  of  fer- 
tile California  lands.  In  the  delta  region,  where  the  two  great  rivers 
empty  into  the  Bay,  Calpak  owns  9,000  acres,  5,000  of  which  are  planted 


EMPORIUM     OF     A     NEW     WORLp         39 

to  asparagus.    According  to  a  1937  census  the  product  of  Bay  area  can- 
neries that  year  was  valued  at  $49,920,161. 

Despite  the  fact  that  no  oil  is  produced  within  300  miles  of  the 
Bay,  the  center  of  its  oil.  industry,  Contra  Costa  County,  has  developed, 
in  the  brief  interval  since  a  China-bound  steamer  sailed  west  with  a 
cargo  of  oil  in  1894,  mt°  the  clearing  house  for  one-eighth  of  the  entire 
world's  supply  of  gasoline  and  petroleum  products.  All  the  way  from 
the  San  Joaquin  Valley's  southern  end,  where  oil  was  discovered  late 
in  the  nineteenth  century,  pipes  were  laid  to  connect  with  Bay  shore 
refineries.  Standard  Oil  was  the  first  of  the  large  companies  to  build 
one;  its  Richmond  plant  was  opened  soon  after  the  first  ferry  connec- 
tion was  made  with  San  Francisco.  It  put  out  one  of  the  early  wharves 
at  Point  Orient,  linking  the  East  Bay  directly  with  the  Far  East  by 
means  of  its  tankers.  Today  four  of  the  world's  largest  refineries  over- 
look the  water  from  San  Pablo  Bay's  southern  shore. 

Sugar,  canning,  oil — these  are  the  Bay  region's  industrial  giants. 
For  the  most  part,  their  operations  are  centered  across  the  Bay  from 
San  Francisco.  Long  the  West's  chief  industrial  center,  San  Francisco 
had  passed  its  zenith  as  a  manufacturing  city  by  the  turn  of  the  century. 
In  its  place,  the  East  Bay  came  forward  as  factories  found  industrial 
sites  cheaper  and  rail  connections  more  convenient  on  the  mainland. 
The  city  of  San  Francisco  itself  assumed  its  present  role  of  financial 
and  marketing  center  for  an  industrial  area  embracing  the  whole  Bay 
region — that  of  front  office  for  the  plants  across  the  water.  Although 
outranked  in  economic  importance  by  both  wholesale  and  retail  trade, 
manufacturing  nevertheless  contributed  22  per  cent  of  the  city's  annual 
pay  roll  in  1935.  As  befits  a  commercial  and  financial  center,  the 
printing  and  publishing  industry — important  ever  since  the  Pacific 
Coast's  first  power  press  was  set  up  in  April  1850 — leads  all  the  rest, 
with  an  output  valued  in  1937  at  more  than  $40,000,000.  The  city's 
next  most  important  industries  are  those  of  food-processing — the  coffee 
and  spice  (by  far  the  most  important),  bread  and  bakery  products,  meat 
packing,  and  canned  fruit  and  vegetable  industries. 

Along  the  shores  of  Alameda  and  Contra  Costa  Counties  stretches 
an  industrial  belt  of  bewildering  complexity.  At  Emeryville,  for  in- 
stance, are  situated  no  less  than  35  concerns  of  national  reputation, 
with  products  ranging  from  light  globes  to  corsets,  from  canned  fruit 
to  preserved  dog  food.  Oakland  is  coming  to  be  known  as  the  "Detroit 
of  the  West,"  for  Eastern  automotive  tycoons,  to  pare  transportation 
costs,  have  built  their  assembly  plants  here.  There  are  three  General 
Motors  plants  in  Oakland,  a  Ford  plant  in  Richmond,  and  a  Chrysler 
plant  in  San  Leandro.  Fageol  trucks  of  Oakland  are  found  high  up 
among  the  mines  of  the  Andes  Mountains ;  huge  tractors  built  by  the 
Caterpillar  Tractor  Company  of  San  Leandro  are  shipped  all  over  the 


4O         SAN     FRANCISCO 

world.  In  1921  the  Atlas  Imperial  Diesel  Engine  Company  of  Oak- 
land built  the  first  solid  injection  marine  Diesel  engine  to  be  manufac- 
tured with  commercial  success  in  America.  The  Union  Diesel  Engine 
Company,  which  has  been  building  gas  engines,  since  1885,  supplies  the 
means  of  motive  power  for  boats  of  the  United  States  Navy,  the  United 
States  Bureau  of  Fisheries,  and  of  the  Arctic  Patrol  of  the  Canadian 
Northwest  Mounted  Police.  The  4OO-acre  plant  of  the  Bay  region's 
steel  center,  Pittsburg,  recalling  the  giant  mills  of  its  Pennsylvania 
namesake,  provides  steel  for  many  of  the  West's  biggest  construction 
jobs.  Organized  in  1910  by  a  group  of  San  Francisco  financiers,  Colum- 
bia Steel  (now  a  subsidiary  of  United  States  Steel)  owns  its  own  coal 
and  iron  mines,  blast  furnaces  and  coke  ovens  in  Utah. 

In  1940,  only  a  few  years  short  of  the  hundredth  anniversary  of 
gold's  discovery,  more  than  3,000  industrial  plants  crowd  the  shores  of 
San  Francisco  Bay,  employing  nearly  90,000  workers  and  producing 
goods  valued  at  more  than  $1,000,000,000.  Almost  71  per  cent  of 
central  California's  population  of  3,000,000  people  live  within  a  75- 
mile  radius  of  San  Francisco — still  the  hub  of  a  great  marketing  area 
as  it  was  in  Gold  Rush  days.  Now  as  then  it  is  the  San  Francisco  Bay 
region's  job  to  supply  their  needs — and  now,  too,  the  needs  of  millions 
more  beyond  the  horizons  of  a  wider  expanse,  the  whole  Pacific. 

ENGINEERING  ENTERPRISE 

The  discovery  of  gold  brought  thousands  clamoring  to  the  muddy 
shores  of  the  shallow  indentation  known  as  Yerba  Buena  Cove,  which 
extended  in  an  arc  from  the  foot  of  Telegraph  Hill  to  the  present 
Montgomery  Street  and  around  to  the  foot  of  Rincon  Hill.  One  of 
the  first  acts  of  the  newcomers  as  a  corporate  body  was  to  begin  grad- 
ing away  the  sand  hills  along  Market  Street  and  dumping  them  into 
the  mud  flats  of  the  cove.  The  project  was  many  years  in  completion. 
Before  it  was  finished,  about  1873,  they  had  already  begun  building  a 
sea  wall  several  blocks  east  of  the  shoreline  so  that  ships  could  unload 
directly  upon  the  wharves  without  the  aid  of  a  lighter. 

The  construction  of  the  sea  wall,  a  stupendous  project  for  its  time, 
took  many  decades  to  complete.  A  trench  60  feet  wide  was  dredged 
along  the  line  of  the  proposed  water  front,  and  tons  of  rock  blasted 
from  Telegraph  Hill  were  dumped  into  it  from  lighters  and  scows. 
The  rocks  were  allowed  to  seek  bed-rock  of  their  own  free  weight; 
when  settling  ceased,  a  layer  of  concrete  two  feet  thick  and  ten  feet 
wide  was  laid  on  top  of  the  resulting  embankment. 

While  this  work  was  going  on,  the  reclamation  of  the  mud-flats 
and  shallows  of  the  original  cove  was  progressing.  Some  of  the  city's 
lesser  hills  were  dumped  bodily  into  the  area  between  the  old  water 


EMPORIUM     OF     A     NEW     WORLD         4! 

front  and  the  new  sea  wall  until  the  business  and  financial  district  of 
lower  Market  Street — everything  east  of  Montgomery  Street — arose 
from  the  sea. 

Agitation  for  rail  connections  to  link  the  Bay  with  the  outside 
world  had  begun  as  early  as  1849.  By  1851,  $100,000  worth  of 
stock  had  been  sold  for  a  projected  line  between  San  Francisco  and 
San  Jose.  Three  successive  companies  achieved  little;  but  the  fourth 
not  only  reached  Menlo  Park,  but  extended  its  line  down  the  Peninsula 
to  San  Jose  and  was  completed  January  16,  1864.  September  of  1863 
had  seen  completion  of  the  San  Francisco  and  Oakland  Railroad  Com- 
pany's line  from  downtown  Oakland  to  the  Oakland  ferry  wharf. 

Meanwhile,  San  Francisco's  "Big  Four"  were  pushing  their  Central 
Pacific  rails  over  the  mountains  to  join  the  Union  Pacific  in  Utah.  The 
first  transcontinental  railroad,  completed  in  May  1869,  extended  only 
as  far  west  as  Sacramento.  But  the  "Big  Four,"  determined  that 
San  Francisco  should  be  the  focal  point  of  a  country-wide  network  of 
railroad  lines,  systematically  acquired  control  over  every  means  of  entry 
to  the  Bay  region  from  all  directions.  Having  bought  a  short  railroad 
between  Sacramento  and  San  Jose,  they  built  a  branch  to  Oakland, 
purchased  the  two  local  roads  connecting  Oakland  and  Alameda  with 
the  East  Bay  water  front ;  and  taking  over  another  line  between  Sacra- 
mento and  Vallejo,  they  extended  it  to  Benicia,  where  they  inaugurated 
ferry  service  to  carry  their  trains  across  Suisun  Bay,  installing  the 
world's  largest  ferryboat  for  the  purpose.  Finally  they  bought  the  San 
Francisco  and  San  Jose  Line.  The  Bay  was  encompassed  by  the  tracks 
of  the  "Big  Four." 

"The  railroad  has  furnished  the  backing  for  a  great  city,"  reported 
the  San  Francisco  Bulletin,  "and  the  need  now  is  for  a  thousand  miles 
of  local  railroads  in  California."  The  four  went  about  answering  the 
need.  They  completed  a  line  southward  to  Los  Angeles  through  the 
San  Joaquin  Valley  on  September  5,  1876.  Their  monopoly  of  rail 
transportation  was  unchallenged  until  completion  in  1898  of  a  compet- 
ing line  financed  by  popular  subscription,  which  was  sold  in  the  same 
year  to  the  Atchison,  Topeka,  and  Santa  Fe  Railroad  Company.  The 
"Big  Four,"  meanwhile,  were  gradually  extending  the  original  San 
Francisco  and  San  Jose  line  until  in  1901  it  stretched  all  the  way  down 
the  coast  to  Los  Angeles.  On  August  22,  1910  the  Western  Pacific 
line  from  Oakland  through  Niles  Canyon,  Stockton,  Sacramento,  and 
the  Feather  River  Canyon  to  Salt  Lake  City  was  opened  to  traffic. 
By  joint  agreement  in  1904  the  Southern  Pacific  and  the  Santa  Fe 
began  consolidating  a  group  of  short  lines  in  the  northern  coast  coun- 
ties— including  the  San  Francisco  and  North  Pacific  from  Tiburon  to 
Sherwood  and  the  North  Shore  from  Sausalito  to  Cazadero — into  one 


42         SAN     FRANCISCO 

line  extending  from  the  tip  of  the  Marin  Peninsula  northward  to  Trini- 
dad, near  Humboldt  Bay,  finally  opened  November  17,  1914. 

Meanwhile  a  growing  San  Francisco  had  spread  beyond  the  limits 
set  for  it  in  the  imagination  of  its  first  settlers.  Tycoons  of  mine, 
ship,  and  railroad  began  to  build  grotesque,  grey  wooden  mansions, 
tired-looking  beneath  their  burdens  of  architectural  bric-a-brac,  on  the 
city's  highest  elevations.  They  then  were  confronted  with  a  new,  and 
purely  local,  problem  of  transportation — that  of  devising  a  vehicle  capa- 
ble of  surmounting  hills  too  steep  for  horses.  The  result  was  the  inven- 
tion, by  local  manufacturer  Andrew  S.  Hallidie,  of  the  cable  car.  The 
inaugural  trip  of  the  first  car,  over  the  newly  laid  line  on  Clay  Street 
between  Kearny  and  Jones  Streets,  was  a  civic  event.  On  the  morning 
of  August  2,  1873,  the  unfinished  car  was  sent  down  the  hill  and  back. 
That  afternoon  a  public  trial  trip  was  made:  many  people  climbed  into 
and  upon  the  car,  which  was  intended  to  hold  only  14,  but  in  spite 
of  the  overload,  it  literally  made  the  grade.  Thirty  days  afterward 
the  line  was  put  into  regular  operation.  The  principle  of  cable  traction 
was  not  new.  The  crowning  engineering  achievement  lay  in  adapting 
it  to  street  transportation — in  solving  the  problem  of  how  to  make  a 
moving  cable  follow  the  contour  of  the  street  and  how  to  devise  a  grip 
which  could  not  tear  the  cable  apart  by  too  sudden  a  jerk.  The  cars 
promised  in  their  day  to  become  the  prevailing  type  of  public  convey- 
ance in  all  of  America's  larger  cities.  They  still  survive  in  the  city 
of  their  birth,  an  antique  touch  in  a  streamlined  world. 

Before  introduction  of  the  cable  car,  horse  cars  and  omnibuses  had 
been  the  prevailing  means  of  street  transportation.  The  first  such  line, 
starting  in  1852,  had  been  the  "Yellow  Line,"  a  half-hourly  omnibus 
service  which  carried  18  passengers  at  a  fare  of  50^  apiece  from  Clay 
and  Kearny  Streets  out  the  Mission  Street  plank  toll  road  to  Mission 
Dolores.  In  1862  the  first  street  railroad  on  the  Pacific  Coast  had 
begun  providing  service  from  North  Beach  to  South  Park.  A  steam 
railway  began  operation  on  Market  Street  in  1863,  but  sand  and  rain 
repeatedly  filled  the  cuts,  and  omnibuses  constantly  obstructed  the  tracks 
and  in  1867  horse  cars  were  substituted.  Even  after  cable  car  tracks 
were  installed  on  Market  Street  (hence  the  name  "South  of  the  Slot" 
for  the  district  south  of  Market)  a  horse  car  line  paralleled  them  until 
1906.  An  electric  line  was  in  operation  on  Eddy  Street  as  early  as 
1900.  In  1902  began  the  unification  of  all  the  city's  lines,  except  the 
California  Street  cable,  into  one  system,  predecessor  of  today's  Market 
Street  Railway  Company.  The  first  line  in  the  long-planned  Municipal 
Railway— first  city-owned  street  railway  system  in  the  United  States 
and  second  in  the  world — was  the  Geary  Street,  put  into  operation  in 
1912.  There  are  now  378.35  miles  of  street  railway  and  bus  lines  in 
San  Francisco. 


EMPORIUM     OF     A     NEW     WORLD         43 

On  September  n,  1853,  the  consciously  progressive  city  by  the 
Golden  Gate  had  made  another — and  very  different — stride  toward 
conquering  the  distances  that  lay  between  the  communities  of  men.  On 
that  date  was  opened  for  use  the  first  electric  telegraph  on  the  Pacific 
slope,  connecting  the  San  Francisco  Merchants'  Exchange  with  six-mile- 
distant  Point  Lobos.  It  was  built  to  announce  the  arrival  of  vessels 
at  the  Gate  (previously  signalled  to  the  town  by  the  arms  of  the  giant 
semaphore  atop  Telegraph  Hill).  Two  days  later,  James  Gamble 
started  out  from  San  Francisco  with  a  party  of  six  men  to  put  up  wire 
for  the  California  State  Telegraph  Company,  which  had  obtained  a 
franchise  from  the  Legislature  for  a  telegraph  from  San  Francisco  to 
Marysville  by  way  of  San  Jose,  Stockton,  and  Sacramento.  On  Sep- 
tember 25th  the  wire  was  in  place.  On  October  24,  1861,  the  first 
direct  messages  between  New  York  and  San  Francisco  passed  over  the 
wires  of  the  first  transcontinental  telegraph  line. 

One  year  after  Alexander  Graham  Bell  had  invented  the  telephone, 
in  1876,  Frederick  Marriott,  Sr.,  publisher  of  the  San  Francisco  News- 
Letter,  had  a  wire  installed  between  his  office  and  his  home.  In  Febru- 
ary 1878  the  American  Speaking  Telephone  Company  began  regular 
service  with  18  subscribers.  Soon  afterwards  the  National  Bell  Tele- 
phone Company  offered  competition.  The  early  switchboard  consisted 
of  two  boards  affixed  to  the  wall,  each  with  a  row  of  brass  clips  into 
which  holes  were  drilled  to  receive  the  plugs  making  the  connections. 
In  the  National  Bell  Telephone  Company's  office,  bells  above  these 
boards  notified  the  operator  of  a  call.  Since  the  bells  sounded  exactly 
alike,  however,  a  string  had  to  be  attached  to  each  bell  tapper  and  a 
cork  to  each  string;  the  antics  of  the  cork  called  the  attention  of  the 
operator  to  the  line  that  demanded  attention. 

On  January  25,  1915,  the  first  transcontinental  telephone  line  was 
opened.  Dr.  Alexander  Graham  Bell  in  New  York  spoke  to  his  former 
employee,  Thomas  Watson,  in  San  Francisco,  repeating  his  sentence  of 
an  even  more  memorable  occasion:  "Mr.  Watson,  come  here,  I  want 
you!"  In  December  1938,  San  Francisco  had  282,204  telephones — 
more  connections  per  capita  of  population  than  any  United  States  city 
except  Washington,  D.  C. 

A  still  greater  stride  in  communication  was  made  on  December  13, 
1902,  when  the  shore  end  of  the  first  transpacific  cable  was  laid  in 
San  Francisco  by  the  Commercial  Pacific  Cable  Company  (organized 
in  1883  by  Comstock  king  John  W.  Mackay). 

A  more  homely  problem — a  vexatious  one  for  San  Francisco  since 
1849 — was  that  of  its  water  supply.  In  early  years  water  had  been 
brought  from  Marin  County  on  rafts  and  retailed  at  a  dollar  a  bucket. 
Throughout  the  latter  half  of  the  nineteenth  century,  local  sources  of 
supply  were  exploited  by  private  companies.  When  these  failed  to  keep 


44         SAN     FRANCISCO 

pace  with  the  requirements  of  the  rapidly  growing  metropolis,  the  City 
and  County  of  San  Francisco  began  in  1914,  after  a  long  and  bitter 
struggle  with  monopolistic  interests,  the  construction  of  the  Hetch- 
Hetchy  system. 

Heart  of  the  system  is  O'Shaughnessy  Dam,  towering  430  feet  high 
across  the  granite-walled  course  of  the  Tuolomne  River,  high  in  the 
Sierra  Nevada  in  Yosemite  National  Park.  The  mountain  waters  im- 
pounded are  piped  to  San  Francisco  by  gravity  through  tunnels  and 
steel  pipes  over  163  miles  of  mountains  and  valleys.  Besides  the  main 
dam  and  reservoir  at  Hetch-Hetchy,  the  system  includes  a  number  of 
subsidiary  storage  reservoirs  and  power  stations  with  a  combined  capac- 
ity of  more  than  150,000  horse  power.  The  dam  was  completed  in 
1923,  the  aqueduct  in  1934. 

The  East  Bay,  too,  had  been  faced  with  a  similar  situation  regarding 
its  water.  From  several  wells  in  the  vicinity  and  the  surface  run-off 
of  San  Pablo  and  San  Leandro  Creeks  the  region  long  had  drawn  a 
water  supply  whose  quality  was  impaired  by  the  inflow  of  salt  water 
from  the  Bay  and  whose  quantity  was  estimated  at  about  one-sixth  of 
that  soon  to  be  required.  In  the  same  year  the  O'Shaughnessy  Dam 
was  completed  to  impound  waters  for  thirsty  San  Franciscans,  the  East 
Bay  Municipal  Utility  District  was  organized.  Eight  years  later  it  had 
completed  the  358-foot-high  Pardee  Dam  on  the  Mokelumne  River  in 
the  Sierra  foothills,  a  93.8-mile  aqueduct,  two  subsidiary  aqueducts,  and 
auxiliary  storage  reservoirs. 

Long  before  the  waters  of  the  Sierra  Nevada  were  generating  power 
to  light  the  homes  of  the  Bay  region — on  the  evening  of  July  4,  1876 — 
Reverend  Father  Joseph  M.  Neri  presented  electricity  to  San  Fran- 
ciscans, operating  on  the  roof  of  St.  Ignatius  College  three  large  French 
arc  searchlights  with  an  old  generator  that  had  seen  service  during  the 
siege  of  Paris  in  1871.  This  was  an  occasion  surpassing  even  the  light- 
ing of  the  city's  first  gas  lamps  on  February  n,  1854 — illumination 
provided  by  gas  manufactured  from  Australian  coal  by  the  San  Fran- 
cisco Gas  Company  (first  of  its  kind  on  the  Pacific  Coast). 

George  H.  Roe,  a  local  money  broker  whose  interest  in  electricity 
had  been  aroused  when  he  found  himself  owner  of  a  dynamo  taken 
as  security  for  a  loan,  organized  in  1879  the  California  Electric  Light 
Company  and  erected  a  generating  station  on  a  small  lot  near  the 
corner  of  Fourth  and  Market  Streets.  Early  consumers  paid  $10  a 
week  for  2,ooo  candlepower  of  light — which  was  turned  off  promptly  at 
midnight.  By  1900  a  number  of  other  companies  had  been  organized. 
Through  a  merger  of  two  of  the  largest,  in  1905,  was  incorporated 
the  Pacific  Gas  and  Electric  Company,  which  now  operates  four  steam- 
electric  generating  stations  in  San  Francisco  and  two  in  Oakland.  Now 
the  third  largest  public  utilities  system  in  the  United  States,  P.G.  and 


&KK&3&^^ 


Bay  Region:    Today  and  Yesterday 


^ 


- 


i 


Gabriel  Moulin 


THE  BAY  AND  ITS  CITIES 


GOLDEN  GATE  BRIDGED  BY  WORLD'S  TALLEST,  LONGEST  SPAN 

L 


' 


PENINSULA  CLIFFS 


•' 


ORCHARDS  CARPET  THE  VALLEYS 


MOUNT  TAMALPIS  LOOMS  OVER  MARIN  COUNTY 


THE  PRESIDIO  IN  1816 


Drawing  by  Louis  Choris 


*      *v 


•  ~ 


GRAVEYARD,  MISSION  DOLORES 


NORTHERNMOST  MISSION  AT  SONOMA  (1824) 


RUSSIAN  CHAPEL  AT  FORT  ROSS  (1812 


VALLEJO'S  CASA  GRANDE  NEAR  PETALUMA 


fcfi 


tF  Perru/  Fom  fecit    Tutuu™   *m,o  /777 


©  Regents  of  University  of  California 
PEDRO  FONT'S  MAP  OF  SAN  FRANCISCO  BAY  (1777) 


EMPORIUM     OF     A     NEW     WORLD         45 

E.  serves  an  area  of  89,000  square  miles  on  the  Central  Pacific  Coast. 
It  controls  49  hydroelectric  generating  plants  and  ten  steam  generating 
plants,  all  interconnected,  with  a  total  installed  capacity  of  1,676,902 
horsepower.  Radiating  from  hydroelectric  generating  stations  installed 
on  30  different  streams  of  the  Sierra  Nevada  and  supporting  steam  pow- 
erhouses, the  electric  system  forms  an  interconnected  network  of  trans- 
mission and  distribution  lines  from  the  mountains  to  the  sea,  more  than 
500  miles  in  length. 

In  the  meantime,  San  Francisco's  hills  again  had  proven  to  be — and 
this  time  literally — stumbling  blocks  to  the  city's  progress;  for,  as  they 
halted  further  expansion,  the  town  became  cramped  for  space.  Answer 
to  the  new  problem  was  the  construction  of  a  series  of  five  railway 
tunnels  known  as  the  Bay  Shore  Cutoff;  completed  in  1907,  they 
brought  the  Peninsula  towns  within  commuting  distance  of  "the  city" 
and  opened  up  a  large  new  residential  area.  In  1915  the  city's  North 
Beach  section  was  made  more  easily  accessible  by  a  tunnel  driven  through 
Nob  Hill  on  Stockton  Street.  Two  years  later  the  completion  of  the 
2 ^4-mile  Twin  Peaks  Tunnel  provided  a  short-cut  to  the  district  west 
of  Twin  Peaks,  doubled  the  city's  potential  residential  area,  and  brought 
a  rich  financial  return  to  property  owners,  business  men,  and  real  estate 
promoters.  Another  tunnel  was  bored  to  carry  streetcars  under  Buena 
Vista  Heights. 

By  the  third  decade  of  the  twentieth  century  the  fast-growing  East 
Bay  communities  were  confronted,  as  San  Francisco  had  been,  by  the 
need  of  making  similar  improvements  on  nature.  In  1928  a  $4,496,000 
automobile  and  pedestrian  tube  was  laid  beneath  the  Oakland  Estuary 
to  connect  Oakland  with  the  island  city,  Alameda.  The  Posey  Tube 
(named  for  its  designer  and  engineer)  is  unusual  in  that  it  is  con- 
structed of  twelve  prefabricated  tubular  sections,  37  feet  in  outer  diam- 
eter, which  were  "corked,"  towed  across  the  Bay,  and  sunk  into  a  great 
trench  dredged  on  the  bottom  of  the  estuary.  The  center  one  of  the 
tube's  three  horizontal  sections  accommodates  traffic;  the  lowest  is  a 
fresh  air  duct;  the  uppermost,  an  outlet  for  foul  air. 

More  than  1,000  men  toiled  three  years  to  build  the  impressive 
Broadway  Tunnel  connecting  East  Bay  cities  with  Contra  Costa 
County,  which  cost  $4,500,000  before  its  completion  in  1937.  This 
twin-bore  automobile  and  pedestrian  tunnel,  an  extension  of  Oakland's 
main  thoroughfare,  has  two  additional  lateral  approaches  from  Berkeley 
and  East  Oakland.  A  clover-leaf  obviates  the  crossing  of  traffic  lanes. 
By  day,  "twilight  zones"  at  each  portal  accustom  the  drivers'  eyes  to 
the  change  from  natural  to  artificial  light. 

But  when  engineers  had  created  a  city  where  mud  flats  had  been,  had 
surmounted  the  hills  of  that  city  and  the  hills  and  valleys  of  the  region 
beyond,  had  learned  to  talk  over  miles  of  wires  and  harnessed  mountain 


46         SAN     FRANCISCO 

streams  to  provide  drinking  water  and  electricity  for  a  people,  they  had 
still  to  span  the  great  body  of  water  on  whose  shores  the  people  lived. 
Not  until  1927  was  the  Bay  first  bridged  when  the  narrowest  width 
at  its  extreme  southern  end  was  crossed  by  the  Dumbarton  Drawbridge, 
connecting  San  Mateo  and  Alameda  Counties. 

Carquinez  Strait,  the  narrow  entrance  from  San  Pablo  Bay  to 
Suisun  Bay,  was  next  to  be  spanned.  Carquinez  Bridge  is  a  tribute  to 
the  imagination  and  determination  of  two  business  men — Avon  Hanford 
and  Oscar  Klatt.  In  1923  their  company  secured  a  toll  bridge  franchise 
and — despite  the  admonitions  of  engineer  and  layman  that  the  water 
was  too  deep  and  swift  to  permit  a  bridge  at  the  site — construction 
was  begun.  In  1927  the  $8,000,000  structure  was  opened  to  traffic. 
The  great  double  pier  rests  on  sandstone  and  blue  clay  at  a  depth  of 
135  feet  below  mean  water  level,  over  which  the  steel  construction 
towers,  for  four-fifths  of  a  mile,  314  feet  above  the  strait. 

March  3,  1929,  saw  completion  of  what  was  then  the  longest  high- 
way bridge  in  the  world — the  twelve-mile  San  Mateo  Toll  Bridge, 
crossing  seven  miles  of  water  a  few  miles  north  of  the  Dumbarton 
Bridge.  The  movable,  3O3-foot,  i,ioo-ton  center  steel  span — erected 
in  South  San  Francisco  and  floated  by  barge  to  its  resting  place — can 
be  raised  135  feet  above  water  level. 

The  San  Francisco-Oakland  Bay  Bridge  was  opened  in  November, 
1936.  It  has  six  lanes  for  automobile  traffic  on  its  upper  deck;  three 
lanes  for  truck  and  bus  traffic  and  two  tracks  for  electric  trains,  on  its 
lower.  Its  length  is  12  miles,  including  approaches.  Clearance  above 
water  at  the  central  pier  is  216  feet,  sufficient  to  clear  the  mast  of 
the  largest  ships.  The  west  crossing — between  San  Francisco  and  Yerba 
Buena  Island — consisting  of  two  suspension  bridges  anchored  in  the 
center  to  a  concrete  pier,  is  unique  in  bridge  construction;  it  is  so  built 
that  the  roadway  forms  a  single  smooth  arc.  Connecting  the  east  and 
west  crossings  is  the  largest  diameter  tunnel  in  the  world,  blasted 
through  Yerba  Buena  Island's  140  acres  of  rock.  It  is  76  feet  wide 
and  58  feet  high;  through  it  an  upright  four-story  building  could  be 
towed.  Three  pioneer  tunnels  were  bored  through  the  rock  and  then 
broken  out  until  they  became  one  horseshoe-shaped  excavation.  A  via- 
duct was  built  20  feet  above  the  floor  of  the  tunnel  to  carry  the  six-lane 
automobile  boulevard;  beneath  it  pass  electric  trains  and  trucks.  The 
extraordinary  depth  of  the  bedrock  to  which  concrete  supports  for  the 
towers  had  to  be  sunk  through  water  and  clay  presented  bridge  builders 
with  an  exceptional  problem.  To  solve  the  problem,  engineers  devised 
a  new  system  of  lowering  the  domed  caissons,  controlled  by  compressed 
air.  In  the  case  of  the  east  tower  pier  of  the  east  crossing,  bedrock 
lay  at  such  a  depth  that  it  could  not  be  reached.  The  foundations  were 
laid  at  a  depth  greater  than  any  ever  before  attained  in  bridge  building. 


EMPORIUM     OF     A     NEW     WORLD         47 

Six  months  after  the  opening  of  the  San  Francisco-Oakland  Bay 
Bridge,  San  Francisco  was  linked  to  the  northern  Bay  shore  by  the 
world's  longest  single  span,  the  Golden  Gate  Bridge.  It  measures 
4,200  feet  between  the  two  towers  and  8,940  feet  in  all.  Its  towers 
rise  746  feet  above  high  tide ;  its  center  span,  220  feet  above  low  water. 
The  tops  of  the  towers  rise  above  the  waters  of  the  Golden  Gate  to  the 
height  of  a  65-story  building.  Most  spectacular  feat  in  the  bridge's 
construction  was  the  building  of  the  south  tower's  foundation.  Be- 
cause of  the  swift  tidal  flow  at  this  point,  spanning  the  Golden  Gate 
had  long  been  considered  impossible.  Working  on  barges  tossed  con- 
tinually by  swells  as  high  as  15  feet,  seasick  workmen  built  from  bed- 
rock a  huge  concrete  fender  completely  enclosing  the  site.  Inside  this 
fender,  which  later  became  part  of  the  structure,  caissons  were  sunk. 

When  the  two  towers  were  finished,  workmen  clambering  along 
catwalks  strung  between  them  spun  the  giant  cables  from  tower  to 
tower.  Into  the  spinning  of  each  of  the  cables  (which  measure  36^ 
inches  in  diameter)  went  27,572  strands  of  wire  no  thicker  than  a  lead 
pencil.  To  support  them,  each  tower  has  to  carry  a  vertical  load  of 
210,000,000  pounds  from  each  cable  and  each  shore  anchorage  block 
to  withstand  a  pull  of  63,000,000  pounds.  From  these  cables  the  bridge 
was  suspended  by  traveler  derricks  invented  to  perform  jobs  of  this  kind. 

At  about  the  time  the  two  bridges  were  being  woven  into  the  Bay 
region's  design  of  living,  Treasure  Island  was  rising  from  the  rocky 
shoals  just  north  of  Yerba  Buena  Island.  An  outline  of  the  island-to-be 
was  drawn  in  tons  of  quarried  rock.  Inside  it  were  dumped  20,000,000 
tons  of  sand  and  mud  dredged  from  the  bottom  of  the  Bay.  When  the 
job  was  completed  a  4OO-acre  island,  cleaned  of  salt  by  a  leaching  proc- 
ess, had  replaced  the  shoals  once  feared  by  seamen.  Built  to  support 
the  $50,000,000  Golden  Gate  International  Exposition,  Treasure  Island 
is  destined  to  become,  when  the  Exposition  closes,  a  terminal  for  the 
graceful  Pacific  Clippers  that  fly  to  Hawaii,  the  Philippines  and  the 
Orient. 


Golden  Era 


"Mind  before  mines  ought  to  be  the  motto  .  ,  .  of  every  edu- 
cated  Calif  ornian." 

—Reverend  H.  W.  Bellows 


TO  THINK  of  its  power  and  influence,"  marveled  Horace  Greeley 
at  San  Francisco's  pioneer  literary  journal,  the  Golden  Era, 
"when  the  population  is  so  sparse  and  the  mail  facilities  so  poor." 
The  Eras  youthful  founders,  Rollin  M.  Dagget,  who  was  only  nineteen 
years  old  when  he  arrived  on  the  Coast,  and  J.  MacDonough  Foard, 
who  was  only  twenty-one,  had  followed  Greeley's  own  advice:  "Go 
West,  young  man !"  The  phenomenal  success  of  their  attempt  to  spread 
enlightenment  on  such  matters  as  education,  literature,  and  the  fine  arts 
through  the  Era's  columns,  beginning  in  1852  when  the  infant  city 
could  not  yet  supply  itself  with  even  the  common  necessities  of  life,  was 
indicative  of  that  hunger  for  all  the  arts  and  refinements  of  civilization 
which  inspired  the  Argonauts  almost  as  much,  it  would  seem,  as  the 
quest  for  gold.  "To  encourage  virtue  and  literature"  had  been  one 
of  the  announced  objectives  of  the  founders  of  the  Bear  Flag  Republic 
in  1846.  Certain  it  is  that  "virtue  and  literature" — and  art,  and  learn- 
ing, and  architecture — have  received  rare  encouragement  in  the  cities 
around  San  Francisco  Bay.  Even  the  earliest  saloons  insisted  on  hang- 
ing paintings  on  their  walls  and  providing  musicales  for  their  patrons! 
The  Gold  Rush  may  have  swept  San  Francisco's  first  public  school- 
master, Thomas  Douglas,  off  to  the  mines  six  weeks  after  he  called 
his  first  class  to  order,  but  countless  others  who  took  his  place  would 
demonstrate  a  steadier  adherence  to  the  motto  the  Reverend  Bellows 
framed  for  "every  educated  Californian." 

CENTERS  OF  LEARNING 

To  trace  the  pioneer  impetus  in  the  educational  field  is  like  watch- 
ing the  man  in  the  old  story  who  brought  water  on  mule-back  from 
the  ocean  to  the  Colorado  River.  One  disbelieves,  and  yet  one  sees 
the  thing  happening:  individual  after  individual  carrying  obstacles 
before  him  that  look  insurmountable,  impelled  by  nothing  but  his  own 
belief  and  courage.  There  is  Colonel  Thomas  J.  Nevins,  who  first 
revealed  to  the  Common  Council  of  San  Francisco  that  children  were 
among  the  products  of  the  gold-bearing  State.  The  council,  in  those 
days  when  only  the  color  of  gold  could  put  a  man  in  action,  was  inclined 

48 


GOLDEN     ERA         49 

to  distrust  Colonel  Nevins'  report  until  he  thrust  under  their  noses  a 
census  of  his  own  taking,  and  illustrated  it  by  samples  of  both  sexes. 
The  result  was  an  ordinance  for  the  establishing  of  the  free  common 
school  system.  That  was  in  1851.  Nevins  had  earlier,  of  his  own 
accord,  set  up  a  school  in  Happy  Valley,  south  of  Market  Street,  and 
could  be  seen  each  day  following  an  express  wagon  along  San  Francisco 
streets,  gathering  up  children  and  expressing  them  to  the  Happy  Valley 
schoolhouse.  And  even  earlier  yet,  Yale  graduate  Thomas  Douglas  had 
opened  on  April  3,  1848  California's  first  public  school  in  a  small  shack 
on  Portsmouth  Square,  beginning  with  six  pupils,  whom  he  taught  until 
the  Gold  Rush,  following  shortly  afterward,  bore  him  off  to  the  mines. 

There  is  John  G.  Pelton,  who  came  around  Cape  Horn  from  Ando- 
ver,  Massachusetts,  determined  to  lay  the  foundations  of  a  public  school 
system  in  the  illiterate  West.  Pelton  even  brought  a  school  bell  with 
him,  which  was  tied  to  the  mast  and  rang  the  watches  on  the  tedious 
voyage  from  the  Atlantic  to  the  Pacific.  He  arrived  with  $1.50  in  his 
pockets,  not  enough  to  remove  books,  globes,  maps,  and  bell  from  the 
sandy  beach  where  they  had  been  landed.  Some  unnamed  visionary 
rescued  him  and  his  wife.  As  soon  as  a  boarding  house  opened  by  Mrs. 
Pelton  was  under  way,  he  started  a  free  school  in  the  basement  of  the 
Baptist  Church. 

Writes  John  Swett,  who  became  principal  of  one  of  the  schools 
established  after  the  ordinance  of  1851:  "This  school  [the  Rincon 
School]  was  ...  in  a  small  rented  house  planted  in  the  middle  of  a 
sandbank  on  the  corner  of  First  and  Folsom  Streets.  .  .  .  There  was 
neither  a  blackboard  nor  map.  .  .  .  The  only  apparatus  consisted  of  a 
wooden  water  pail  and  a  battered  tin  dipper,  from  which  the  children 
drank  water  brought  from  a  well  not  far  distant,  the  owner  of  which 
allowed  the  boys  to  draw  one  bucket  of  water  a  day."  An  early  teacher 
is  pictured  scooping  the  drifted  sand  from  under  the  pot  outside  his 
tent  door,  proceeding  to  boil  his  potatoes  and  brew  his  kettle  of  tea  for 
a  solitary  supper  after  his  day's  work. 

Ambitious  in  the  face  of  difficulties  is  a  list  of  geography  questions 
propounded  by  an  early  school  board  president  who  prided  himself  on 
being  able  to  teach  more  in  one  day^than  any  teacher  in  San  Francisco. 
The  questions  were  (i)  name  all  the  rivers  of  the  globe;  (2)  name  all 
the  bays,  gulfs,  seas,  lakes  and  other  bodies  of  water  on  the  globe;  (3) 
name  all  the  countries  of  the  world;  (4)  name  all  the  cities  of  the  world. 
It  is  told  that  when  a  young  man  from  Texas  had  worried  through  the 
questions  in  arithmetic  and  had  come  to  these  on  geography,  he  examined 
them  carefully,  then  walked  up  to  the  chairman's  table  and  handed  them 
to  him,  saying,  "If  the  Board  wants  me  to  prepare  a  primary  geography, 
they  must  pay  me  for  it." 

The  first  kindergarten  was  opened  in   September    1863,   by   "Pro- 


5O         SAN     FRANCISCO 

fessor"  Charles  and  Madame  Weil,  at  41  South  Park  Street.  Schools 
sprang  up  quickly  in  imitation  of  the  first  successful  private  children's 
school,  and  by  the  end  of  the  century  there  were  easily  a  hundred  of 
them  in  the  city.  Child  education,  however,  did  not  receive  mature 
attention  until  the  advent  of  Miss  Emma  Marwedel  in  1878.  Miss 
Marwedel  was  one  of  the  earliest  child  educators  in  the  East  to  teach 
story-telling  and  drawing  to  children,  and  she  left  a  highly  successful 
school  in  the  Nation's  capital  to  organize  a  kindergarten  in  Los  Angeles. 
During  this  period  of  teaching  and  training  she  instructed  Kate  Douglas 
Wiggin  in  kindergarten  work. 

Later  Miss  Marwedel  and  Mrs.  Wiggin  were  associated  in  conduct- 
ing San  Francisco's  famous  Silver  Street  Kindergarten,  parent  institu- 
tion of  all  Pacific  Coast  kindergartens.  It  was  located  in  the  notorious 
Tar  Flat  district  around  Second  and  Harrison  Streets  where  ".  .  .  life 
is  sodden  and  aimless  .  .  .  children  are  often  born  of  drunken  mothers, 
and  show  deformities  and  mental  deficiencies  and  inherited  diseases  .  .  . 
kindergarten  teachers  in  their  visiting  sometimes  find  mothers  helpless 
with  drink  .  .  ." 

Fighting  against  such  conditions,  Miss  Marwedel  and  Mrs.  Wiggin 
taught  the  ever-increasing  classes  games,  music,  and  the  elements  of 
cultural  education,  and  with  the  help  of  other  assistants  made  their 
school  one  of  the  most  active  educational  forces  in  the  history  of  West- 
ern child  training.  When  Mrs.  Wiggin  later  gained  international  fame 
by  writing  such  books  as  Rebecca  of  Sunnybrook  Farm  and  Mrs.  Wiggs 
of  the  Cabbage  Patch,  she  continued  the  crusade  for  child  education.  In 
San  Francisco  during  her  last  few  hours  of  intolerable  illness,  Miss 
Marwedel  said  to  followers:  "Have  faith  in  the  kindergarten  ...  I 
believe  in  its  power  to  reform  the  world." 

Jean  Parker,  who  believed  the  education  of  a  child  should  include 
more  than  arithmetic,  history,  grammar,  and  other  basic  studies,  first 
introduced  useful  and  practical  accomplishments — such  as  domestic 
science  classes,  school  luncheons,  girls'  and  boys'  clubs,  manual  arts,  and 
physical  culture — to  California  juvenile  education.  The  Jean  Parker 
Grammar  School  in  San  Francisco  not  only  follows  her  now-famous 
"learning  by  doing"  method,  but  is  a  living  memorial  to  the  woman 
about  whom  was  said:  "She  knew  the  new  education  before  it  poured  in 
a  beneficent  flood  over  the  land,  and  she  created  while  others  evolved 
laboratory  schemes  of  advancement  .  .  ." 

The  rise  of  colleges  and  universities  followed  the  same  impulse 
which  broke  through  the  apathy  of  a  raw  and  materialistic  civilization 
to  establish  the  common  schools.  On  the  eastern  side  of  the  Bay,  at  a 
time  when  Oakland  was  a  cluster  of  houses  and  Berkeley  but  an  expanse 
of  neighboring  fields,  when  the  first  transcontinental  railroad  had  not 
reached  California,  and  Tiburcio  Vasquez  was  harassing  honest  men  in 


GOLDEN     ERA         51 

the  San  Joaquin  Valley,  the  University  of  California  was  opened  in 
1868. 

Leland  Stanford  came  to  California  in  1852,  penniless,  to  sell  salt 
pork  and  miners'  sieves  in  a  store  at  Michigan  Bluff.  After  a  while  he 
was  able  to  bring  his  wife  out  from  the  East,  and  for  a  time  they  made 
their  own  furniture  from  drygoods  boxes — but  only  for  a  time.  On  a 
November  morning  in  1885,  Senator  and  Mrs.  Stanford  gathered  a 
group  of  men  in  their  Nob  Hill  home  in  San  Francisco  and  presented 
to  them  the  founding  grant  of  Stanford  University.  Without  ostenta- 
tion and  seemingly  the  least  impressed  of  all  present,  the  Senator  deeded 
over  to  this  board  of  trustees  83,200  acres  of  the  richest  farmlands  in 
California,  and  declared  his  intention  of  bequeathing  to  the  institution 
the  bulk  of  his  estate,  then  estimated  at  $30,000,000.  The  world 
gasped.  Never  before  had  an  educational  institution  come  into  exist- 
ence on  foundations  so  munificent.  But  that  was  the  least  cause  for 
astonishment.  There  was  not  even  a  flag  stop  where  the  doors  of  the 
university  were  to  open,  nothing  but  unbroken  stretches  of  grain.  Fur- 
thermore, the  university  at  Berkeley  had  not  yet  reached  the  400  mark 
in  its  graduating  classes,  and,  as  the  New  York  Mail  and  Express  re- 
marked, the  need  for  another  university  at  such  close  quarters  was  about 
as  urgent  as  for  "an  asylum  of  decayed  sea  captains  in  Switzerland." 

Nevertheless,  the  very  daring  of  the  enterprise,  and  the  beauty  and 
fitness  of  the  Romanesque  buildings  as  they  arose,  arcade  on  arcade, 
against  the  low  tawny  hills,  together  with  the  word  broadcast  by  Dr. 
David  Starr  Jordan,  "The  winds  of  freedom  blow!",  drew  a  student 
body  of  465  in  the  first  year.  Among  that  first  generation  were  Herbert 
Hoover,  Ray  Lyman  Wilbur,  Vernon  Kellogg,  Holbrook  Blinn,  Will 
and  Wallace  Irwin,  and  Charles  K.  Field.  It  was  Senator  Stanford's 
idea  that  the  university  he  had  founded  should  be  a  place  for  specializa- 
tion, with  the  primary  emphasis  on  usefulness.  In  terms  of  this  ideal 
the  growth  of  the  university  has  been  molded,  with  the  gradual  elimina- 
tion of  work  of  general  and  elementary  nature  and  the  expansion  of 
research  and  graduate  studies.  On  the  other  hand,  Mrs.  Stanford's 
insistence  was  on  the  spirit  of  democracy,  an  objective  aided  by  the  fact 
that  both  students  and  faculty  were  necessarily  resident  on  the  campus, 
from  the  very  earliest  days  when  the  great  iron  triangle  sounded  for 
communal  "Grub!"  As  a  consequence,  it  has  become  a  Stanford  claim 
that  no  student  can  consider  his  college  career  a  success  if,  when  he 
graduates,  he  is  not  known  by  his  first  name  to  at  least  three  professors. 

But  pioneer  education  was  not  reserved  for  men  only.  On  an  acre- 
age in  the  foothills  of  Alameda  County,  ideals  of  manners  and  "lady- 
hood" were  taught  young  women  who  had  no  designation  to  set  beside 
their  names  but  some  vague  territorial  address  such  as  "Nevada."  In  a 
society  founded  by  adventurers,  this  was  indeed  stemming  the  stream. 


52         SAN     FRANCISCO 

Dr.  Cyrus  Taggart  Mills  had  reached  California  in  the  i86o's,  then  a 
man  of  middle  age,  his  only  fortune  a  small  one  acquired  by  missionary 
toil  and  close  saving.  Purchasing  the  ground  where  Mills  College  now 
stands,  he  transported  to  it  Benicia  Seminary,  and  under  mansard  roof 
and  cupola  "beautifully  frescoed"  within  with  well-meaning  cherubs, 
garlands  of  roses,  and  be-ribboned  musical  instruments,  Dr.  Mills  and 
his  wife  taught  the  daughters  of  miners  "to  spell  correctly,  to  read 
naturally,  to  write  legibly,  and  to  converse  intelligently." 

Numerous  other  educational  institutions  arose  during  the  20  years 
after  Mrs.  Olive  Mann  Isbell  taught  her  youngsters  in  a  stable  where 
she  saw  her  wedding  handkerchief  used  as  a  flag  of  truce  to  the  Mexi- 
cans. In  1850  the  Sisters  of  St.  Dominic  opened  St.  Catherine's 
Academy  at  Benicia;  today  as  the  Dominican  College  of  San  Rafael,  it 
is  particularly  noted  for  its  school  of  music.  The  University  of  San 
Francisco  had  its  beginning  five  years  later  as  St.  Ignatius  College,  built 
on  land  described  as  "the  sand  dunes  near  the  little  town  of  San  Fran- 
cisco"— the  present  site  of  the  Emporium.  In  1863  Archbishop  Alemany 
founded  St.  Mary's  College,  since  transferred  from  San  Francisco  to 
Oakland  and  more  recently  to  Moraga. 

It  is  primarily  in  scientific  discovery  that  the  pioneer  spirit  now 
evinces  itself,  and  it  is  in  science  that  California  scholars  have  made 
their  greatest  mark.  In  the  Radiation  Laboratory  of  the  University  of 
California  stands  a  gigantic  contrivance  that  looks  like  a  Brobdingnagian 
cheese,  but  has  been  compared  more  appropriately  to  a  huge  machine 
gun.  This  cyclotron  Dr.  E.  O.  Lawrence  directs  against  atoms — objects 
so  small  that  the  entire  population  of  the  world  would  require  10,000 
years  to  count  the  number  of  them  in  a  drop  of  water.  Before  Dr. 
Lawrence's  experiments  the  only  bullets  powerful  enough,  and  at  the 
same  time  tiny  enough,  to  crack  through  the  nucleus  of  the  atom  were 
the  natural  emanations  of  radium,  an  extremely  expensive  commodity 
and  one  available  in  very  small  quantity.  By  means  of  the  cyclotron 
the  nuclei  of  a  special  type  of  hydrogen  atom  may  be  utilized  for  the 
same  purpose.  These  nuclei,  fired  at  the  rate  of  a  hundred  thousand 
billion  a  second  against  whatever  element  is  exposed  to  the  machine, 
satisfy  both  the  necessity  for  tremendous  force  and  the  necessity  for 
infinitesimal  smallness. 

The  reason  for  this  vindictive  effort  to  break  up  the  innocent  atom 
lies  in  the  tremendous  energies  released  by  the  cracking  open  of  the 
atomic  nuclei,  energies  which  are  the  most  tantalizing  forces  known  to 
man.  Already  the  atoms  of  all  the  available  (some  30  different) 
elements  have  been  blasted  by  the  stream  of  so-called  "deuterons" 
emitted  by  the  machine.  The  rearrangement  in  pattern  and  size  of  the 
atomic  nuclei  of  these  elements  has  resulted  in  the  realization  of  the  old 
dream  of  the  alchemists — the  transmutation  of  one  element  into  another, 


GOLDEN     ERA         53 

of  platinum  into  iridium  and  gold,  of  bismuth  into  polonium  and  lead. 
It  has  resulted  also  in  the  creation  of  substances  never  yet  found  in 
nature,  substances  whose  common  characteristic  is  the  fact  that  they  are 
all  radio-active.  Several  of  these  new  forms  show  promise  in  the  treat- 
ment of  certain  radio  sensitive  diseases.  Even  more  sensational  is  the 
liberation  of  the  "neutron  ray,"  a  ray  similar  to  X-ray  but  far  more 
effective  in  the  treatment  of  tumorous  and  cancerous  tissue,  and  now 
regarded  as  one  of  the  most  promising  developments  in  the  scientific 
fight  against  cancer. 

Dr.  Ernest  Linwood  Walker,  quiet  and  sincere  student,  professor  of 
tropical  medicine  in  the  University  of  California  Medical  School,  some 
years  ago  swept  aside  the  veil  of  superstition  and  fear  which  for  thou- 
sands of  years  had  blinded  men  to  the  real  nature  of  leprosy.  He  was 
able  to  identify  the  bacterium  cultivable  from  leprosy  as  a  soil-growing 
organism,  and  he  suggests,  as  an  alternative  hypothesis  to  contagion,  the 
entrance  of  this  soil  bacterium  into  the  human  body  through  soil-con- 
taminated wounds  as  the  primary  mode  of  infection  in  leprosy.  Wild 
rats  are  subject  to  a  leprosy-like  disease,  from  which  the  same  soil 
organism  can  be  cultivated  and  for  which  a  similar  mode  of  infection  is 
suggested.  No  longer  were  bells  to  be  rung  as  the  leper  approached,  and 
the  dreadful  cry,  "Unclean!"  go  from  mouth  to  mouth. 

A  housewife  who  opens  a  can  of  peaches  is  protected  by  a  long  series 
of  intensive  researches  carried  on  in  the  university  laboratories.  Dr. 
Carl  Meyer  and  his  assistants,  after  working  on  the  subject  of  botulism 
(food  poisoning),  were  able  to  reduce  poisoning  from  commercially 
packed  foods  to  the  extent  that  now  there  is  actually  more  danger  from 
foods  preserved  in  the  home. 

In  the  Engineering  Materials  Laboratory,  preparatory  to  the  build- 
ing of  Hoover  Dam,  concrete  was  accorded  unusual  attention.  It  was 
tested  by  delicate  instruments,  in  turn  lovingly  coddled  and  lovingly 
smashed  and  given  ideal  conditions  and  the  worst  conditions — in  order 
that  one  of  the  engineering  projects  of  the  modern  world  might  guard 
the  waters  of  the  Colorado  River.  Within  adiabatic  calorimeters — cork- 
lined  rooms  with  doors  like  those  of  the  refrigerator  of  a  butcher  shop 
— samples  of  various  types  of  concrete  were  housed  in  cylindrical  com- 
partments; electrical  resistance  thermometers  were  imbedded  in  the 
concrete.  The  concrete  was  tested  under  various  stages  of  dampness, 
with  and  without  loads ;  its  strength  was  measured  in  a  universal  testing 
machine  of  4,ooo,ooo-pound  capacity.  Its  durability  was  gauged  under 
artificial  weather  conditions  duplicating  those  to  which  the  dam  would 
be  subjected.  This  testing  laboratory  has  been  concerned  in  an  advisory 
capacity  with  engineering  projects  including  the  Colorado  River  Aque- 
duct into  Los  Angeles,  the  San  Francisco-Oakland  Bay  Bridge,  the 


54         SAN     FRANCISCO 

Golden  Gate  Bridge,  Pine  Canyon  Dam,  and  Oakland's  Broadway 
Tunnel. 

At  Stanford  University  aeronautical  research  has  been  carried  on 
since  the  eve  of  America's  entry  into  the  World  War,  when  Professors 
Durand  and  Lesley  built  their  wind  tunnel  on  the  campus  and  started 
experimentation  with  airplane  propellers  on  reduced  scale  models.  This 
was  real  pioneering,  for  the  problems  were  then  virtually  unattacked. 
Stanford  is  now  recognized  as  the  leading  center  in  the  United  States 
for  propeller  research. 

In  the  same  way  that  research  is  integrated  with  the  commercial  life 
of  the  State,  so  also  is  it  integrated  with  the  life  of  California  farmers, 
returning  to  them  millions  of  dollars,  saved  through  improved  agri- 
cultural methods.  In  more  than  one  curious  instance,  experiments 
carried  on  for  the  benefit  of  agriculture  have  had  their  effects  in  a  totally 
different  field  of  industry.  When  Charles  B.  Lipman,  now  Dean  of 
the  Graduate  Division,  and  Dr.  Aaron  Gordon  were  engaged  in  the 
problem  of  treating  pear-blight  by  injecting  a  poisonous  solution  in  the 
trunks  of  the  trees,  it  was  hoped  the  solution  would  act  on  the  bacteria 
causing  the  blight.  Unfortunately  it  was  not  successful  with  pear  trees, 
but  it  was  remarkably  successful  with  telephone  poles.  The  problem 
now  became  a  totally  different  one,  that  of  protecting  piles  and  timbers, 
used  in  marine  construction  and  by  power  companies,  from  the  depreda- 
tions of  various  types  of  borers.  The  process,  which  is  like  embalming, 
consists  in  injection  of  the  poisonous  solution  into  the  circulatory  system 
of  the  living  tree  or  cut  pole.  Practical  tests  on  telephone  poles  and 
piles  before  they  are  cut  have  shown  it  to  be  a  cheap  and  efficient  method 
of  protecting  them  from  marauding  organisms,  fungi,  and  molds. 

These  are  a  few  of  the  values  immediately  accessible  and  easily 
visualized  by  the  layman  who  is  interested  in  "results"  from  the  State's 
educational  system.  Yet  even  in  the  liberal  arts  department,  there  is 
the  eternal  individual  with  warmly  giving  hands  and  heart  fixed  on  the 
future.  Josiah  Royce,  one  of  the  truly  great  "great  men"  who  have 
come  from  the  University  of  California,  speaks  of  climbing  around 
under  the  eaves  of  Bacon  Hall,  where  the  books  belonging  to  the  old 
College  of  California  were  stored.  There,  where  deep  dust  stood  on 
ancient  theological  and  scientific  treatises,  he  gathered,  according  to  his 
own  statement,  the  most  profound  intellectual  impressions  of  his  life. 

The  immense  collections  of  the  present  University  Library  came  into 
being,  step  by  step,  with  the  gifts  of  individuals  who  had  felt  a  similar 
debt  to  "book-learning."  One  of  the  most  delightful  of  these  collections 
is  lodged  in  the  Morrison  Library,  on  the  ground  floor  of  the  building. 
The  story  of  its  foundation  parallels  Walter  Scott's  preface  to  Quentin 
Dttrward.  Just  as  Sir  Walter  was  introduced  by  the  fantastic  Marquis 
de  Hautlieu,  with  many  apologies  for  tattered  tapestry  and  tenant  owls. 


GOLDEN     ERA         55 

to  the  turret  room  of  a  ruined  castle  where  were  deposited  "the  precious 
relics  of  a  most  splendid  library,"  so,  demurring  in  housewifely  fashion 
for  the  untidiness  of  the  attic,  the  widow  of  Alexander  F.  Morrison 
led  her  guests,  one  evening  after  dinner,  to  a  garret  lit  up  like  an 
Aladdin's  cave  with  the  splendor  of  15,000  books  which  she  wished  to 
give  to  the  university  as  a  memorial  to  her  husband.  These  books,  so 
vital  a  part  of  her  own  life,  were  not  to  be  swallowed  in  the  catacombs 
of  the  stacks,  but  were  to  form  a  room  of  their  own  where  students,  sans 
notebooks,  might  genuinely  recreate  themselves  intellectually. 

The  Bancroft  Library  is,  of  course,  one  of  the  most  important  of  the 
individual  collections,  and  becomes  each  year  increasingly  the  center  of 
research  for  students  of  the  history  of  the  Pacific  Slope  and  Hispanic 
America.  Scholars  in  constantly  larger  numbers  come  from  the  East 
and  abroad  to  consult  these  rich  manuscripts  and  printed  materials. 
Similarly  unique  in  its  own  field  is  the  Hoover  Library  on  War,  Revolu- 
tion, and  Peace,  at  Stanford,  containing  documents  relating  to  the 
World  War — government  reports,  unofficial  publications,  periodicals, 
books,  pamphlets,  and  manuscripts,  some  of  so  confidential  a  nature  that 
they  will  not  be  available  for  use  for  40  years. 

It  has  been  said  that  the  degree  of  civilization  attained  by  any  nation 
may  be  estimated  from  the  provision  it  makes  for  study  of  the  stars. 
Certainly,  paradoxical  as  it  may  seem,  no  one  has  ever  asked  that  Li<~fc 
Observatory  show  its  credentials  in  the  shape  of  "practical"  benefits. 
The  discovery  of  a  fifth  moon  in  Jupiter  or  a  shadowy  duplicate  streak 
across  Mars  has  satisfied  the  public  mind  as  much  as  an  honest  piece  of 
cement  or  the  last  meal  of  a  mealy-bug  issuing  from  the  university 
laboratories.  This  tolerance  for  sidereal  phenomena  is,  as  a  matter  of 
fact,  a  good  deal  more  respectable  than  the  tolerance  which  James  Lick 
himself  felt  for  starry  matters.  It  is  said  of  him  that  he  "had  never 
looked  through  anything  larger  than  a  ship's  spy-glass,"  and  when  he 
was  consulted  at  his  Alviso  flour  mill  in  1887  on  the  subject  of  a  univer- 
sity foundation  for  scientific  studies,  he  "listened  patiently,  but  it  made 
no  more  impression  on  him  than  on  the  fruit  trees"  he  was  walking 
under.  Yet  he  founded — for  what  reason  no  one  can  surmise — the 
observatory  on  Mount  Hamilton,  one  of  the  seven  branches  of  the  Uni- 
versity of  California.  There,  in  the  base  of  the  pier  on  which  the 
observatory  rests,  rests  also  the  body  of  James  Lick. 

And  there,  through  telescopes  a  good  deal  larger  than  a  ship's  spy- 
glass, have  been  discovered  the  several  satellites  of  Jupiter  additional  to 
the  four  discovered  by  Galileo  in  1610.  There  have  occurred  the  first 
great  successes  in  photographing  comets  and  the  Milky  Way,  teaching 
more  about  the  structure,  formation,  and  dissolution  of  the  comet's  tail 
than  had  been  learned  in  all  previous  time.  There  the  sulky  steps  of 
the  young  blue  stars  have  been  measured,  the  staid  stride  of  the  middle- 


56         SAN     FRANCISCO 

aged  yellow  stars,  and  the  fine  gallop  of  the  old  red  stars.  There  the 
advance  through  space  of  our  own  solar  system  has  been  set  at  12.2  miles 
per  second  in  the  direction  of  the  constellation  of  Hercules.  Whether 
this  would  have  meant  much  or  little  to  James  Lick,  no  one  can  say, 
for  he  "wot  not  of  it"  under  his  fruit  trees  at  Alviso. 

Notoriously  unexciting  as  is  the  history  of  education,  the  hardihood 
of  those  first  California  educators — considered  now  from  a  safe  distance 
in  time — seems  no  less  awe-inspiring  than  the  hardihood  of  their  con- 
temporaries who  forged  across  the  Sierra  Nevada,  seeking  gold.  For 
the  apathy  they  faced  and  overcame  was  no  less  cold  and  cruel  than  the 
Sierra.  Nevertheless  they  opened  school  in  stable  and  tent.  And  it  is 
still  their  day — the  day  of  the  pioneer — in  the  halls  now  decently  clad 
with  stucco  and  adorned  with  drinking  fountains,  while  the  chimes  of 
Berkeley's  Campanile  proclaim  the  international  frontiers  of  education, 
ringing  out,  slowly  and  liquidly,  a  tune  from  Heine  or  an  old  English 
carol  or  "The  Goden  Bear." 

ARGONAUTS  OF  LETTERS 

In  1864  an  earthquake  damaged  San  Francisco  but  left  Oakland 
unharmed.  Discussion  ensued  as  to  the  reason  for  Oakland's  invulnera- 
bi*ity.  Bret  Harte,  citing  "Schwappelfurt,  the  celebrated  German 
geologist,"  endeavored  to  explain  the  singular  fact  by  suggesting  that 
there  are  some  things  the  earth  cannot  swallow.  Whether  Harte's 
affection  for  Oakland  was  paralleled  by  a  similar  affection  for  San  Fran- 
cisco is  a  question;  he  was  given  a  job  in  the  mint  so  that  he  could 
write  stones,  but  as  soon  as  he  had  written  the  stories  he  left  and  went 
to  wear  his  green  gloves  in  Boston  and  to  part  his  Dundreary  whiskers 
in  London. 

Bret  Harte  is  not  the  only  writer  who,  wearing  the  local  label, 
conducted  himself  with  an  astonishing  resistance  toward  this  geographi- 
cal section.  Harte  left  it  bodily.  Mark  Twain,  Joaquin  Miller,  and 
others  found  the  city's  frank  money  grubbing  and  social  vulgarity  unbear- 
able. Boston  and  New  York,  London  and  Paris  seemed  to  offer  a  more 
soothing  atmosphere  for  artistic  nerves  jangled  by  such  excesses  of  gross 
materialism.  And  yet  Harte  endowed  California  with  its  earliest 
literary  prestige.  He  discovered  and  romanticized  the  Argonauts,  at  a 
time  when  it  could  be  said  of  the  urban  intellectuals  of  whom  he  was 
one,  that,  like  the  Hangtown  girls, 

"They're    dreadful    shy    of    forty-niners, 
Turn  their  noses  up  at  miners." 

And  there  is  ironic  justice  in  the  fact  that  once  he  had  created  the  Argo- 
naut of  California-  fiction,  he  tucked  up  his  mustachios  and  departed. 


GOLDEN     ERA         57 

It  is  the  California  setting,  particularly  the  setting  of  San  Francisco 
— its  place  on  the  sea,  facing  the  Orient,  with  its  back  to  the  mines — 
which  alone  has  inspired  in  its  writers  a  continuity  of  tradition.  The 
region  gave  elbow  room  for  the  unpredictable  expansion  of  certain  indi- 
vidual writers,  elbow  room  they  would  not  have  had  elsewhere.  The 
effect  has  been  what  some  critics  call  the  "virility"  of  Californian  litera- 
ture. This  is  the  one  tradition  to  which  it  is  possible  to  point — the 
defining  effect  of  the  region  on  its  writers. 

San  Francisco's  literary  beginnings  were  its  pioneer  journals — the 
first  of  which,  the  Golden  Era,  was  founded  in  1852  by  J.  MacDonough 
Foard  and  Rollin  M.  Daggett.  In  March  1857  the  Golden  Era 
printed  a  slight,  sentimental  poem,  "The  Valentine,"  signed  "Bret." 
Its  author  followed  with  more  verses  and  sketches.  Another  contributor 
was  Samuel  Langhorne  Clemens,  a  young  Missourian,  signing  himself 
Mark  Twain.  The  two  men  met  soon  after  May  1864,  while  Clemens 
was  employed  on  the  Call,  which  shared  a  building  with  the  local 
United  States  Mint.  Later  Harte  became  temporary  editor  of  the 
Californian,  and  engaged  Clemens  to  write  regularly  for  the  publication. 
Harte  laid  the  foundation  for  Western  romance,  and  Twain  crystallized 
Western  humor. 

Harte  played  the  more  irrational,  the  more  unpredictable  part,  and 
in  this  way  the  more  truly  "Californian"  part ;  for  scarcely  a  year  before 
the  appearance  of  The  Luck  of  Roaring  Camp,  he  was  writing  editorials 
(as  editor  of  The  Overland  Monthly)  on  the  unromantic  ugliness  of 
such  place  names  as  Poker  Flat  and  Red  Dog  Gulch,  advising  young 
writers  to  steer  away  from  the  appellation  "honest  miner,"  since  "the 
less  said  about  the  motives  of  some  of  our  pioneers  the  better;  very 
many  were  more  concerned  in  getting  away  from  where  they  were,  than 
in  going  to  any  particular  place."  And  in  his  editorial  in  the  second 
number  of  The  Overland  Monthly  he  prophesied  that  it  would  be  300 
years  before  the  red  shirts  of  the  pioneers  would  become  romantic  and 
their  high  boots  heroic.  One  of  the  worst  of  prophets,  he  had  just 
finished  writing  the  story  that  would  do  more  than  anything  else  to 
make  the  red  shirts  romantic  and  the  high  boots  heroic.  It  was  con- 
tained in  the  same  issue. 

The  Luck  of  Roaring  Camp  had  more  than  its  author's  own  resist- 
ance to  his  environment  to  overcome.  The  resistance  of  proofreader 
and  printer  was  so  strenuous  that  it  was  almost  still-born — and  Amer- 
ican local-color  with  it.  Cherokee  Sal's  profession  shocked  the  young 
lady  who  read  proof.  A  reference  to  obstetrics  threw  her  into  hysterics. 

And  finally  Kentuck's  exclamation  over  the  baby — "The  d d  little 

cuss!" — brought  her  hurriedly  to  the  printer,  who  shared  her  appalled 
conviction  that  the  story  should  never  see  the  light.  Dictatorial  inter- 
ference alone  saved  it  for  the  August  number  of  the  Overland.  What 


58         SAN     FR  A  N  C  I  S  C  O 

happened  then  was  a  publishing  miracle,  which  brought  offers  from  the 
Atlantic  Monthly,  a  letter  from  Charles  Dickens,  and  an  announcement 
from  Henry  Adams  that  there  was  just  one  hopeful  thing  in  a  hopeless 
world — Bret  Harte. 

Harte  is  usually  associated  with  the  Argonauts  of  '49  and  '50, 
whereas  he  is  a  writer  of  the  later  fifties  and  the  sixties,  writing  of 
"the  disused  ditches,  the  scarred  flats,  the  discarded  levels,  ruined  flumes, 
and  roofless  cabins."  His  Yuba  Bill  he  very  probably  rode  beside,  on 
some  dusty  stagecoach,  but  as  he  himself  says  in  A  Lonely  Ride:  "The 
road  from  Wingdam  to  Slumgullion  (that  is,  in  the  heart  of  the  mining 
country)  knew  no  other  banditti  than  the  regularly  licensed  hotel- 
keepers."  Harte's  Indians  were  the  Indians  whose  carcasses  he  saw 
floated  by  the  raft-load  down  to  Uniontown  after  a  cutthroat  revel  of 
some  upstanding  citizens  inspired  by  whisky  and  manifest  destiny.  His 
"heathen  Chinee,"  who  "for  ways  that  are  dark  and  for  tricks  that  are 
vain"  was  so  very  peculiar,  was  one  of  the  unfortunates  who  were  being 
attacked  with  all  the  violence  of  anti-oriental  chauvinism. 

California  "romance"  and  California  "savagery"  of  the  sort  that 
appeared  in  Harte's  writing  give  striking  point  to  the  story  told  by 
Mark  Twain  of  how  Harte  drew  the  railroad  tracks  under  the  grizzly 
bear  for  the  Overland'*  title-page.  A  grizzly,  the  old  grizzly  that  had 
been  the  State's  totem  ever  since  the  Bear  Flag  days,  had  been  selected 
as  emblem  for  the  Overland  Monthly.  The  grizzly  was  drawn,  en- 
graved and  printed,  but  he  seemed  a  very  lonely  bear.  "As  a  bear,  he 
was  a  success — he  was  a  good  bear — "  says  Mark.  "But  then,  he  was 
an  objectless  bear — a  bear  that  meant  nothing  in  particular  .  .  .  simply 
stood  there  snarling  over  his  shoulder  at  nothing  .  .  .  But  presently 
Harte  took  a  pencil  and  drew  these  two  simple  lines  under  his  feet  and 
behold  he  was  a  magnificent  success!  the  ancient  symbol  of  California 
savagery  snarling  at  the  approaching  type  of  high  and  progressive  Civil- 
ization, the  first  Overland  locomotive!"  This,  however,  was  not  the 
only  significance  of  the  symbol,  as  Harte  would  prove  by  his  almost 
immediate  departure  down  those  tracks  for  an  Eldorado  that  lay  in  the 
opposite  direction,  the  direction  of  the  East  and  Europe.  He  left  Cali- 
fornia's "savagery"  to  John  Muir,  in  whose  gentle  hands  the  mining 
camps  were  erased  from  the  mountains;  and  California's  "high  and 
progressive  Civilization"  to  Henry  George,  whose  Progress  and  Poverty 
was  to  issue  from  San  Francisco. 

The  unshorn  gentry  of  the  mining  towns  had  at  first  provoked  satire 
among  San  Francisco  wits,  and  then,  by  Harte's  unpredicted  gesture, 
romance.  But  satire  remained  a  strong  undercurrent.  Twain's  de- 
scription of  the  celebrated  jumping  frog  of  Calaveras  County  might  be 
a  typically  monstrous  understatement  for  the  "honest  miner"  himself: 
"You  never  see  a«frog  so  modest  and  straightfor'ard  as  he  was,  for  all 


GOLDEN     ERA         59 

he  was  so  gifted.  And  when  it  come  to  fair  and  square  jumping  on  a 
dead  level,  he  could  get  over  more  ground  at  one  straddle  than  any 
animal  of  his  breed  you  ever  see."  Twain,  who  had  adopted  his 
pseudonym  in  1863,  mounted  as  a  humorist  on  the  back  of  this  frog,  for 
he  wrote  the  sketch  and  won  his  first  fame  all  in  one  leap.  He  remained 
in  California  from  May  1864  until  December  1866,  and  worked  on  the 
San  Francisco  Morning  Call  for  a  few  months.  Of  the  writers  with 
whom  he  had  contact,  most  were  humorists :  it  was  the  typical  humor  of 
the  Comstock  Lode  era  that  crystallized  in  his  style  at  this  time — 
coupling  the  tall  tale  of  the  barroom  with  excessive  understatement. 
By  the  time  he  left  California,  his  popularity  in  the  East  had  become 
enormous.  And  like  Harte,  he  sought  those  greener  pastures. 

Besides  Harte  and  Mark  Twain,  the  Golden  Era,  the  Californian, 
and  the  Overland  had  other  contributors  whose  fame  spread  beyond  the 
local  boundaries.  Prentice  Mulford's  rollicking  satire  of  frontier  heroics 
found  great  favor.  Charles  Warren  Stoddard,  the  poet,  a  close  friend 
of  Harte,  later  became  the  celebrated  author  of  South  Sea  Idyls  and 
The  Lepers  of  Molokai.  Ina  Coolbrith,  who  contributed  poems  to  the 
Californian  under  Harte's  editorship,  was  many  years  afterward  named 
the  "poet  laureate"  of  California.  Songs  from  the  Golden  Gate  con- 
tains many  of  her  finest  lyrics.  Another  distinguished  contributor  was 
Edward  Rowland  Sill,  author  of  The  Hermitage  and  other  volumes  of 
verse. 

Joaquin  (Cincinnatus  Heine)  Miller,  "the  Poet  of  the  Sierras," 
was  deeply  impressed  by  the  city's  literary  atmosphere  when  he  first 
came  to  San  Francisco  as  a  young  man.  "I  have  seen  the  world  well 
since,"  he  said  many  years  later,  discussing  the  Golden  Era,  "yet  those 
carpeted  parlors,  with  Joe  Lawrence  and  his  brilliant  satellites,  outshine 
all  things  else,  as  I  turn  to  look  back."  His  name,  Joaquin — replacing 
the  ridiculous  Cincinnatus  Heine — was  derived  from  Joaquin  Murrieta, 
the  Mexican  outlaw  in  California.  Miller's  fame,  however,  originated 
not  in  San  Francisco  but  in  London,  where  he  became  a  nine  days' 
wonder  as  a  fiery  poet  and  a  convincing  representative  of  the  "Wild 
West,"  with  his  high  top  boots,  red  flannel  shirt,  a  sombrero,  and  his 
long  hair  falling,  Indian-fashion,  upon  his  shoulders.  In  his  grandilo- 
quent poetry  he  celebrated  the  deeds  of  pioneers,  Indians,  and  bandits 
amid  the  natural  marvels  of  the  West.  Except  for  "Columbus,"  which 
is  still  in  the  school  boy's  repertoire,  he  is  remembered  today  for  his 
attitudes  rather  than  for  his  verse.  In  his  hilltop  eyrie,  "The  Hights" 
(sic)j  overlooking  Oakland,  he  settled  down,  after  his  wanderings 
abroad,  to  practice  his  odd  histrionics  until  his  death  in  1913. 

Ambrose  Bierce  was  another  who  found  elbowroom  for  the  develop- 
ment of  an  even  more  intense  individuality,  but  the  stamp  of  the  region 
upon  him  was  of  a  different  sort.  For  a  quarter  of  a  century  he  was  a 


6O         SAN     FRANCISCO 

literary  figure,  the  local  literary  figure,  and  the  years  which  he  domi- 
nated stretched  into  an  era  vastly  different  from  the  era  of  the  Argonauts 
as  the  "unutterably  gorgeous"  society  of  the  i86o's  gave  way  to  the 
sand-lot  crusades  of  "the  terrible  seventies."  This  was  the  era  of  novels 
such  as  On  the  Verge,  abounding  in  voluptuous  ladies  at  the  pianoforte, 
and  in  French  quotations;  of  the  poets  such  as  Richard  Realf,  whose 
record  for  bigamy  won  as  much  sympathy  as  his  record  for  bad  verse; 
of  essays  on  Petrarch  and  of  editions  of  Heredia.  It  was  the  era  of  the 
false  front,  and  it  showed  even  worse  propensities  in  the  eighties — Greek 
porticos  flanked  by  bay  windows,  Corinthian  columns  leading  up  flights 
of  ^  wooden  steps,  conical  towers,  and  Queen  Anne  flourishes.  From 
Nob  Hill  to  Barbary  Coast,  barbarism  and  greed  destroyed  the  possi- 
bility of  good  work  in  the  arts. 

This  was  Ambrose  Bierce's  domain.  He  declared  himself  in  1877 
with  the  first  issue  of  the  Argonaut:  "It  is  my  intention,"  he  said,  "to 
purify  journalism  in  this  town  by  instructing  such  writers  as  it  is  worth 
while  to  instruct,  and  assassinating  those  that  it  is  not."  His  column, 
appearing  consecutively  from  1868  to  1900,  was  a  vivid  experience  in 
the  lives  of  innumerable  Westerners.  He  had  deliberately  set  himself 
the  task  of  direct  attack  on  individuals.  It  was  his  moral  function,  and 
possibly  the  only  function  open  to  him  in  his  time  and  in  San  Francisco. 
His  style  he  had  acquired  in  the  beaver-hat  age,  an  age  of  gesture  and 
flourish;  and  he  patched  it  together  with  ideas  of  "elegance"  gained  in 
London,  and  delivered  his  opinions  with  a  bludgeon-like  ponderosity 
suitable  for  denting  the  pates  of  a  hoodlum  citizenry.  He  himself 
summed  up  his  literary  proclivities  in  a  fable:  "A  rattlesnake  came 
home  to  its  brood  to  die — I  have  been  bitten  by  the  editor  of  a  partisan 
journal,  it  said." 

Irony  indeed — and  poetic  justice,  perhaps — in  the  career  of  this 
Titan  who  had  San  Francisco  for  his  malfeasant  Olympus,  is  the  very 
name  of  the  column  which  carried  his  "homicidal  paragraphs" :  Prattle. 
Another  irony  is  his  mysterious  end  in  Mexico,  trailed  by  apocryphal 
tales  of  an  old  man  shot  by  a  firing  squad.  Still  another  is  the  end  met 
by  those  disciples  who  called  him  "Master" — Herman  Scheffauer,  who 
took  his  own  life  in  a  Berlin  hotel,  and  George  Sterling,  who  com- 
mitted suicide  in  San  Francisco's  Bohemian  Club.  But  these  futilities 
cannot  be  laid  at  Bierce's  door,  by  calling  him,  as  some  critics  have  done, 
a  "death  man."  The  style  of  the  time,  in  a  community  of  contradic- 
tions, was  morbid.  Bierce's  own  style,  if  it  is  measured  in  terms  of  the 
resistance  he  put  up  to  those  contradictions,  was  one  of  tremendous 
vitality. 

To  combat  those  same  contradictions  required  even  more  vitality  of 
Bierce's  successors.  From  an  Oakland  cannery,  where  ten  hours  a  day 
of  taut  nerves  prevented  a  moment's  attention  to  the  frequent  victims 


GOLDEN     ERA         6l 

who  had  their  fingers  snapped  off  by  the  machinery,  Jack  London  was 
graduated  to  become  "the  prince  of  the  oyster  pirates."  He  has  indi- 
cated the  reason  for  his  choice  of  a  profession:  "Every  raid  .  .  .  was  a 
felony.  The  penalty  was  state  imprisonment,  the  stripes  and  the  lock- 
step.  And  what  of  that  ?  The  men  in  stripes  worked  a  shorter  day  than 
I  at  my  machine."  With  Whiskey  Bob,  Joe  Goose,  Nicky  the  Greek, 
Soup  and  Stew  Kennedy,  Clam  Bart,  Irish  and  Oyster  Kelly,  Patsy 
Haggerty,  Harmonica  Joe,  Hell  and  Blazes,  and  young  Scratch  Nelson 
of  the  monumental  shoulders,  he  discovered  the  social  conditions  which 
fecundated  his  talent.  Having  nearly  forfeited  his  life  to  a  Chinese 
shrimp  poacher  who  marooned  him  on  an  island  off  the  Marin  shore — a 
story  he  tells  in  Tales  of  the  Fish  Patrol — he  learned  enough  wit  to  leave 
oyster  pirating  and  seek  the  primitive  salt  in  a  three-topmast  schooner 
bound  for  a  larger  universe. 

The  Sea-Wolf,  The  Call  of  the  Wild— these  titles  indicate  not 
only  London's  place  in  space,  on  a  bay  crowded  with  ships  that  offered 
adventure  far  from  "the  man-city  and  its  snarling  roar" ;  they  indicate 
also  his  place  in  time,  when  the  romantic  gesturer  had  to  turn  from 
Oscar  Wilde's  hothouse,  and  go  hunting  with  "huskies"  on  the  last  big 
hunt  before  the  world  closed  up  its  frontiers.  Lonf don  came  back  from 
the  South  Seas  and  wrote  of  nut-brown  queens,  who  sat  on  swan-skins 
and  greeted  a  chance  traveler  thus:  "Stranger,  I  reckon  you're  sure  the 
first  white  man  that  ever  set  foot  in  this  valley.  Set  down  an'  talk  a 
spell,  and  then  we'll  have  a  bite  to  eat.  Which  way  might  you  be 
comin'  ?"  And  of  primitive  Teutons  in  the  clothes  of  James  Ward  of 
Ward,  Knowles  and  Company,  who  dictated  to  their  stenographers  by 
day  and  chased  coyotes  on  the  hills  of  Mill  Valley  by  night. 

But  California's  most  spectacular  and  widely  read  California  author 
was  much  more  than  a  romantic  gesturer.  London's  social  philosophy 
was  direct  and  radical.  And  the  themes  he  dealt  with  were  those  of 
elemental  physical  conflict.  In  the  handling  of  swift  action  he  has 
scarcely  been  surpassed.  Superlatively  strong  men  stalk  through  his 
books,  which  were  based  directly  on  his  own  experiences.  Martin  Eden 
and  John  Barleycorn  are  semi-fictionized  accounts  of  his  own  life, 
alternating  between  infantile  romanticism  and  profound  disillusionment. 
Mostly  self-educated,  he  wrote,  in  16  years,  43  volumes,  besides  acting 
as  war  correspondent  and  cruising  in  his  yacht,  the  Snark.  He  died  at 
his  ranch  in  Glen  Ellen,  California,  in  1916,  of  uremia. 

He  had  long  been  a  victim  of  ill  health,  disappointments  at  the 
hands  of  his  friends,  overwork  in  order  to  maintain  a  large  establish- 
ment, and  that  battle  against  drink  described  in  John  Barleycorn.  As  a 
voice  of  his  time  and  region,  a  spinner  of  yarns,  a  furious  prophet, 
London  is  remembered  by  an  audience  probably  larger  than  that  of  any 
other  American  author. 


62         SAN     FRANCISCO 

In  this  period,  Frank  Norris  comes  closest  to  the  accent  of  greatness. 
And  misses  it.  While  London  wrote  of  James  Ward,  who  puzzled 
philologists  at  the  University  of  California  by  his  chants  in  primitive 
Germanic,  Norris  wrote  of  McTeague  of  McTeague's  Dental  Parlors, 
whose  ambition  was  to  have  projecting  from  the  corner  window  over 
Polk  Street  "a  huge  gilded  tooth,  a  molar  with  enormous  prongs,  some- 
thing gorgeous  and  attractive."  While  London  wrote  of  Klondike 
huskies,  Norris  wrote  of  B  Street  Station: 

"Near  the  station  a  bit  of  fence  painted  with  a  cigar  advertisement  reeled 
over  into  the  mud,  while  under  its  lee  lay  an  abandoned  gravel  wagon  with 
dished  wheels  .  .  .  Across  the  flats,  at  the  fringe  of  the  town,  were  the  dump 
heaps,  the  figures  of  a  few  Chinese  ragpickers  moving  over  them  .  .  .  Across 
the  railroad  tracks,  to  seaward,  one  saw  the  long  stretch  of  black  mud  bank 
left  bare  by  the  tide,  which  was  far  out,  nearly  half  a  mile.  Clouds  of  sea- 
gulls were  forever  rising  and  settling  upon  this  mud  bank;  a  wrecked  and 
abandoned  wharf  crawled  over  it  on  tottering  legs;  close  in  an  old  sailboat 
lay  canted  on  her  bilge  .  .  ." 

In  the  dynamic  fictions  of  Frank  Norris  and  Jack  London  an  aware- 
ness of  social  forces  is  more  evident  than  in  any  earlier  Western  writing. 
Norris,  who  came  to  California  from  Chicago  at  fourteen  years  of  age, 
laid  his  early  novels,  Blix,  Vandover  and  the  Brute,  and  McTeague ,  in 
San  Francisco.  The  essence  of  the  city's  life — at  North  Beach,  Tele- 
graph Hill,  Nob  Hill,  Russian  Hill,  the  Polk  Street  district — is  reflected, 
although  not  without  certain  youthful  exaggeration,  in  their  pages. 
Norris  determined  to  explore,  on  a  large  scale,  the  economic  mainsprings 
of  society.  The  Octopus  and  The  Pit  were  the  two  first  volumes  of  an 
intended  trilogy,  "The  Epic  of  Wheat."  In  The  Octopus  is  depicted 
the  stranglehold  of  a  railroad  on  California  wheat  growers  and  the 
entire  State.  The  Pit  is  placed  in  Chicago,  the  world's  wheat  market. 
The  third  volume,  The  Wolj,  to  have  been  an  account  of  the  consumers 
of  wheat  the  world  over,  was  never  written.  In  the  midst  of  his 
ambitious  plans,  Norris  died  at  the  age  of  32.  Although  marred  by 
melodramatic  excesses,  a  confusing  tinge  of  mysticism,  and  an  apparent 
lack  of  clear  understanding  of  the  issues  involved,  his  novels,  in  their 
search  for  truth,  in  their  tone,  stand  as  distinguished  landmarks  at  the 
threshold  of  the  era  of  realism  in  American  letters. 

The  society  which  London  attacked  with  merciless  fury  and  Norris 
probed  with  surgical  ruthlessness  was  gently  scolded  in  The  Lark,  edited 
by  Gelett  Burgess  in  the  nineties,  which  for  the  whole  of  its  two  years 
sustained  a  wondrous  buoyancy.  It  was  read  throughout  the  country, 
though  Burgess  often  mocked  the  staid  with  such  ditties  as : 

"I  love  to  go  to  Lectures, 
And  make  the  Audience  Stare, 
By  walking  'round  upon  their  heads, 
And    spoiling   People's    hair!" 


GOLDEN     ERA         63 

Conventional  readers  tolerated  his  nonsense  because  Burgess  always 
kept  it  "clean"  and  because  it  was  young  as  they  never  had  been  young ; 
its  more  sophisticated  comments  escaped  them,  being  whispered,  as 
Albert  Parry  says,  "in  exquisite  innuendo."  Its  chief  contributors  were 
Ernest  Peixotto,  Bruce  Porter,  Florence  Lundborg,  Carolyn  Wells, 
Yone  Noguchi — besides  Burgess,  whose  "Purple  Cow"  classic  first  ap- 
peared in  its  pages.  The  New  York  Times  nicknamed  the  group  Les 
Jeunes.  It  was  abandoned  while  still  thriving  and  making  money  be- 
cause, as  Burgess  wrote  to  Carolyn  Wells,  "I  wanted  it  to  die  young 
and  in  its  full  freshness."  Its  whole  staff,  except  Noguchi,  moved  to 
New  York.  But  Burgess  remembered  San  Francisco,  for  in  The  Heart 
Line  he  satirized  both  practitioners  and  victims  of  palmistry  and  astrol- 
ogy, cults  which  have  always  thrived  in  a  city  where  so  many  have  lived 
dangerously. 

After  the  turn  of  the  century  an  increasing  number  of  young  San 
Franciscans  hoping  for  a  career  in  literature  yearned  toward  the  cultural 
centers  in  the  East  and  Europe;  but  many  still  received  their  impetus 
from  the  local  scene.  "The  Man  With  the  Hoe,"  published  in  a  San 
Francisco  newspaper,  made  famous  overnight  the  young  San  Jose  poet, 
Edwin  Markham.  The  coterie  of  writers  who  frequently  met  at  Papa 
Coppa's  restaurant  during  the  years  just  preceding  the  earthquake  and 
fire  of  1906  included  Jack  London,  Wallace  and  Will  Irwin,  the  short- 
story  writer  James  Hopper,  the  imperious  and  aging  Ambrose  Bierce 
and  his  two  brilliant  pupils,  poets  Herman  Scheffauer  and  George 
Sterling.  Having  learned  from  Bierce  nothing  of  that  writer's  Swiftian 
vigor  but  only  his  magniloquence,  Sterling  was  invoking  in  such  volumes 
as  The  Testimony  of  the  Suns  a  Platonic  idea  of  California  scenery, 
largely  in  the  colors  of  purple  and  crystal.  The  Irwins  each  celebrated 
the  Chinatown  of  the  pre-fire  era — Will  in  Pictures  of  Old  Chinatown 
and  Wallace  in  Chinatown  Ballads;  after  the  fire,  Will  wrote  a  requiem 
for  "The  City  That  Was,"  while  Wallace,  who  had  gained  his  early 
fame  with  such  verses  as  Love  Sonnets  of  a  Hoodlum,  turned  to  novel 
writing. 

Charles  Caldwell  Dobie,  26  at  the  time  of  the  fire — when  he  helped 
his  mother  transport  the  family  treasures  beyond  the  reach  of  the  flames 
— was  later  to  describe  the  more  picturesque  aspects  of  the  city  as  it  had 
been  in  San  Francisco :  A  Pageant,  San  Francisco  Tales,  and  San  Fran- 
cisco's Chinatown.  Another  of  those  for  whom  the  "days  of  old,  days 
of  gold"  have  provided  a  rich  vein  to  tap  for  literary  purposes  is  Stewart 
Edward  White,  author  of  The  Gray  Dawn  and  The  Forty-Niners. 

Even  before  the  turn  of  the  century  Gertrude  Atherton's  literary 
explorations  had  been  leading  her  back  to  California's  Spanish  begin- 
nings. She  wrote  of  Magdalena  Yorba,  half-Spanish  and  born  tongue- 
tied,  and  of  her  father,  Don  Roberto,  a  bank  president,  who  practiced 


64         SAN     FRANCISCO 

"hip-hip-hooray!"  in  his  study  and  hanged  himself  with  the  American 
flag.  From  the  Spanish  period,  which  she  celebrated  in  The  Dooms- 
woman,  The  Calif  ornians,  The  Splendid  Idle  Forties,  and  Rezanov,  she 
went  on  to  the  American  era  in  Ancestors  and  Patience  Spar  hawk,  and 
then,  having  covered  California,  shifted  to  Montana,  Greece  and  Africa. 
Rezanov,  love  story  of  the  visiting  Russian  officer  and  the  San  Francisco 
Presidio  comandante's  daughter,  probably  has  remained  her  most  popu- 
lar novel.  In  Adventures  of  a  Novelist  (1932)  she  looks  back  on 
the  five  decades  of  her  literary  career. 

Charles  Norris,  like  his  brother  Frank,  writes  "to  make  people 
think."  Characteristic  of  his  novels — conceived  on  a  less  ample  scale 
than  those  of  his  brother — are  Brass,  an  attempt  to  present  different 
phases  of  "what  we  understand  by  marriage";  Pig-Iron,  concerned  with 
the  materialistic  influence  on  American  life;  and  Bricks  Without  Straw, 
dealing  with  the  ever  recurring  battle  of  ideals  between  parents  and 
children.  His  wife,  Kathleen  Norris,  who  in  her  early  youth  was  a  San 
Francisco  newspaper  woman  and  a  contributor  to  local  periodicals,  com- 
pletes the  noted  family;  since  her  first  published  volume,  Mother 
(1911),  which  went  into  numerous  editions,  she  has  written  almost  50 
novels,  all  observing  the  proprieties  of  middle-class  family  life. 

Even  Gertrude  Stein,  when  she  turned  to  description  of  the  local 
scene  in  The  Making  of  Americans,  wrote  of  a  vanished  yesterday — of 
her  girlhood  in  an  old-fashioned  house  with  verandas  amid  the  tangled 
rambler  roses  and  eucalyptus  trees  of  suburban  Oakland.  But  the  post- 
war writers  have  now  been  succeeded  by  post-post-war  writers  who  have 
put  nostalgia  behind  them.  William  Saroyan  might  have  been  born 
anywhere — anywhere  that  there  was  a  colony  of  Armenians — but  he 
happens  to  have  been  born  in  the  San  Joaquin  Valley,  and  the  majority 
of  his  earlier  stories  reflect  his  goings  to  and  fro  about  the  rich  valley 
earth  and  that  much  of  the  cosmos  located  between  Carl  Street,  San 
Francisco,  and  the  Civic  Center. 

"I  want  you  to  know,"  he  writes,  "that  it  is  very  cold  in  San  Fran- 
cisco today,  and  that  I  am  freezing  .  .  ."  Or  he  tries  it  on  another 
tack:  "I  am  out  here  in  the  far  West,  in  San  Francisco,  in  a  small  room 
on  Carl  Street,  writing  a  letter  to  common  people,  telling  them  in  simple 
language  things  they  already  know."  Out  of  these  trivia — blue  fingers 
for  the  writer,  things  they  already  know  for  the  readers — comes  Theo- 
dore Badal,  the  Assyrian  barber  on  Third  Street;  comes  young  "Iowa," 
gone  north  with  his  yellow  hair  and  hope ;  comes  the  daring  young  man 
himself,  turning  his  "lost  face  to  the  empty  sky." 

John  Steinbeck  has  been  gathering  California  local  color  all  his  life 
and  has  turned  it  to  account  in  several  books,  most  powerfully  and 
angrily  in  his  recent  novel,  The  Grapes  of  Wrath.  In  a  curious — but 
perhaps  not  an  Accidental — way,  Saroyan  and  Steinbeck  recall  "with 


GOLDEN     ERA         65 

variations"  some  of  the  earlier  phases  of  literature  in  the  region.  The 
he-man  of  the  1890'$  is  re-born  in  William  Saroyan,  born  with  the 
proper  cosmopolitan  note  of  Armenian  hair  and  with  the  genuine  mid- 
century  stamp  of  a  depression-starvation  appetite.  A  virility  less  flam- 
boyant than  Jack  London's — because  it  had  no  Klondikes  in  which  to 
exercise — none  the  less  manifests  itself  in  the  immediacy  of  Saroyan's 
style,  in  his  simple,  undetailed  human  sympathies.  And  finally,  John 
Steinbeck  has  made  as  disturbing  a  figure  in  the  Nation's  literary  scene 
as  any  California  writer  by  bringing  to  its  culmination  that  "local-color" 
fiction  for  which  Bret  Harte — and  California  literature  along  with  him 
— became  famous. 

ART  AND  ARTISTS 

Of  all  Apollo's  embattled  stepchildren  who  have  attempted  to  create 
works  of  artistic  value  amid  the  Bay  region's  turbulent  economic  de- 
velopment, few  have  achieved  so  much  as  its  painters  and  sculptors. 
Enormous  is  the  variety  of  their  work — much  of  it  derivative  and 
mediocre,  some  of  it  distinguished  by  originality.  If  theirs  is  not  yet  a 
tradition  of  masterpieces,  they  nevertheless  have  put  behind  them  almost 
a  century  of  aesthetic  ferment,  of  tireless  experimentation. 

San  Franciscans,  whatever  their  qualifications  for  aesthetic  judg- 
ment, have  always  been  outspoken  critics  of  their  city's  art  and  artists. 
Before  a  monument  may  be  erected  or  a  mural  finished,  citizens  from 
the  mayor  downwards  must  have  their  say.  A  minority  opinion  recently 
delivered  by  members  of  the  Art  Commission — the  city's  final  arbiter  of 
art  works  and  public  buildings — condemned  the  proposed  erection  of 
Beniamino  Bufano's  gigantic  statue  of  St.  Francis  on  Twin  Peaks.  "It 
looks  like  a  holdup,"  they  said  of  the  design  for  this  156-foot  figure  of 
stainless  steel  with  arms  upraised  in  supplication;  and  local  factions 
were  aroused  anew  by  a  syndicated  columnist's  Nation-wide  crusade 
against  what  he  termed  "God-awful  statuary"  as  represented  by  Bufano's 
unorthodox  model.  This  controversy  had  been  preceded  by  the  public 
turmoil  attending  the  painting  of  murals  in  the  Coit  Tower,  which  was 
marked  by  political  tail-twisting  such  as  Diego  Rivera  practiced  on  his 
patrons  in  his  Rockefeller  Center  murals  in  New  York.  To  bring  this 
hectic  tradition  up  to  date,  Hilaire  Hiler  threatened  to  leave  uncom- 
pleted his  murals  in  the  lobby  of  Aquatic  Park  unless  plans  were  aban- 
doned to  install  furniture  not  in  keeping  with  his  decorative  motif.  The 
files  of  the  Alia  California,  the  Wasp,  the  Overland  Monthly,  and  the 
News-Letter  offer  plentiful  testimony,  in  saltier  epithets  of  earlier 
decades,  that  such  controversies  are  by  no  means  confined  to  the  present 
generation. 

The  plastic  arts  have  been  a  product  and  a  reflection  of  the  cultural 


66         SAN     FRANCISCO 

growth  of  the  Bay  region,  and  of  San  Francisco  in  particular.  As  the 
rough-and-ready  decades  of  the  Gold  Rush  passed,  a  kind  of  poker-faced 
conservatism  settled  on  the  metropolis  dominated  by  the  bonanza  mil- 
lionaires. Its  culture  froze  in  the  urbane,  ornamental,  shock-proof  mold 
of  the  i88o's  and  remained  always  slightly  out-of-date  until  rejuvenated 
after  the  calamity  of  1906.  Its  painters,  depending  wholly  on  the 
patronage  of  a  nouveau  riche  society,  offered  productions  acceptable  to 
a  clientele  whose  tastes  were  dictated  by  extravagant  notions  that  had 
nothing  to  do  with  art.  In  their  imitation  villas  and  chateaux  the 
families  of  the  bonanza  elite  wanted  interior  decoration  that  would  be 
"elegant"  and  dazzling  and  grand,  something  flamboyant  enough  to 
impart  an  overwhelming  impression  of  social  prestige.  Whenever  these 
"cultural  accoutrements"  could  not  be  produced  locally  in  sufficient 
quantity,  all  Europe  was  ransacked  for  an  astonishing  assortment  of 
paintings,  sculpture,  stained  glass,  tapestries,  furniture,  and  bric-a-brac. 
The  result,  as  that  gaudy  generation's  sophisticated  and  refined  descend- 
ants laughingly  acknowledge,  was  hideous  and  absurd. 

For  those  Bay  region  artists  who  had  to  put  up  with  such  nonsense 
this  was  an  environment  that  sorely  tested  their  professional  integrity. 
But  despite  the  perversion  of  public  taste,  which  characterized  American 
life  generally  during  the  nineteenth  century,  the  majority  of  the  Bay 
region's  painters  and  sculptors  devoted  themselves  to  their  work  with 
uncompromising  sincerity.  And  eventually,  out  of  all  the  mass  of 
spurious  importations,  were  established  those  collections  and  exhibitions 
of  both  European  and  native  art  by  which  the  public  has  been  educated 
to  appreciate  the  significance  of  local  craftsmen  and  their  colleagues 
abroad.  Out  of  the  aesthetic  confusion  of  the  bonanza  era  have  evolved 
those  art  schools  and  museums  which  have  helped  to  create  a  new 
synthesis  of  the  welter  of  artistic  influences. 

If,  as  John  P.  Young's  history  of  San  Francisco  points  out,  most  of 
the  city's  literati  in  the  i86o's  ignored  the  local  scene,  "no  such  accusa- 
tion can  be  brought  against  the  painters  of  the  period,  for  their  subjects 
were  almost  wholly  Californian."  Pioneer  of  this  California  School 
was  the  artist  of  whom  the  Alia  California's  discerning  critic  observed: 
"Few  men  dare  paint  flesh,  against  a  pink  cushion,  Nahl  has  dared,  and 
won  (  !)"  This  was  with  reference  to  Charles  Christian  Nahl's  (1818- 
75)  three  separate  renderings  of  The  Rape  of  the  Sabine  Women. 
Painted  in  the  pseudo-classical  manner  of  the  Diisseldorf  School,  this 
romantic  work  was  long  considered  his  masterpiece.  Unfortunately  for 
his  reputation,  many  of  his  more  relevant  and  minutely  authentic  studies 
of  Gold  Rush  scenes  have  either  been  scattered  among  private  collections 
or  lost.  Though  the  M.  H.  de  Young  Memorial  Museum  contains 
some  of  his  paintings,  his  most  representative  works,  including  The 
Fandango  and  Sunday  at  the  Mines,  are  in  the  E.  B.  Crocker  Art  Gal- 


GOLDEN     ERA         67 

lery  at  Sacramento.  Descendant  of  a  long  line  of  German  artists,  Nahl 
was  indebted  to  his  ancestry  for  what  talent  he  had.  In  subject  matter 
and  technique  he  was  influenced  by  the  classic  revival  and  by  his  early 
studies  under  Horace  Vernet  in  Paris. 

Expert  draughtsman  that  he  was,  Nahl  revealed  in  his  canvases  a 
love  of  detail  for  its  own  sake  which  make  them  primarily  exercises  in 
careful  documentation :  genre  paintings  in  which  the  sitter  for  a  portrait, 
accompanied  by  his  favorite  domestic  animals,  appears  against  a  bucolic 
background  of  his  own  countryside.  His  restless  energy  and  versatility 
enabled  him  to  make  hundreds  of  drawings  for  engravers,  supplying 
popular  demands  for  illustrations  depicting  Gold  Rush  scenes.  His 
designs  for  the  18  woodcuts  in  Alonzo  Delano's  The  Idle  and  Indus- 
trious Miner,  a  Tale  of  California  Life  are  a  marvel  of  draughtmanship 
which  enliven  with  droll  humor  that  collection  of  melodramatic  verses. 
"It  was  inevitable,"  says  Eugen  Neuhaus  in  his  appraisal  of  Nahl,  "that 
a  man  of  his  innate  endowments  and  extraordinary  powers  of  observa- 
tion should  be  inspired  to  depict  in  his  own  medium  ...  the  early 
California  glorified  by  Bret  Harte  .  .  .  ;  and  it  is  from  these  pictorial 
records  that  we  today  get  by  far  the  best  idea  of  those  stirring  times. 
.  .  .  The  Nahl  who  will  live  in  the  annals  of  art  is  not  the  painter  of 
remote,  academic  historical  scenes;  it  is  the  artist  of  the  life  in  the  Cali- 
fornia mines,  as  lived  by  an  adventurous,  polyglot  society  of  Americans, 
Indians,  Mexicans,  and  Europeans,  of  which  he  himself  was  a  part." 

Painting  in  California  would  have  remained  a  purely  provincial  art 
had  not  the  literature  of  the  Gold  Rush  with  its  wondrous  accounts  of 
the  natural  scenery  of  the  West  publicized  for  the  Atlantic  seaboard  and 
for  Europe  the  Sierra  Nevada's  fabulous  grandeur.  To  the  "increasing 
astonishment  and  reverential  awe  and  rapture"  of  millions  of  Americans, 
the  "California  School"  arose  to  rival  those  landscape  painters  who  were 
glorifying  the  Hudson  River  Valley.  Prodigious  as  these  Hudson  River 
wonders  appeared,  they  presumably  could  be  put  to  shame  by  more 
gigantic  representations  of  the  "magnificent  scenery  of  that  marvellous 
region,  where  the  roar  of  the  cataract  and  the  roll  of  the  thunder 
reverberate  like  the  tread  of  the  countless  millions  who  evermore  march 
to  the  westward." 

If  today  the  vast  landscapes  painted  by  Albert  Bierstadt  (1830 
1902)  seem  impressive  only  in  size,  they  nevertheless  furnish  a  com- 
mentary on  the  popular  taste  which  once  acclaimed  them  as  masterpieces. 
Their  depiction  of  cyclopean  gorges  and  mountain  peaks — with  every 
detail,  down  to  the  minutest  leaf  and  pebble,  described  with  an  exacti- 
tude approaching  photography — have  also  a  certain  expansive  gusto 
which  must  have  appealed  to  a  public  thrilled  by  the  first  full  flowering 
of  its  national  spirit.  Bierstadt,  born  in  Diisseldorf  and  brought  to 
America  as  a  child,  came  West  with  General  Lander's  expedition  of 


68         SAN     FRANCISCO 

1858.  His  Rocky  Mountains,  a  huge  canvas  of  ponderous  detail  and 
uncertain  perspective,  "threw  the  people  into  an  ecstasy  of  delight"  and 
he  "bounded  at  one  step  to  celebrity."  S.  G.  W.  Benjamin,  whose  Art 
in  America  confutes  some  of  the  prevailing  artistic  credos  of  his  genera- 
tion, remarks  that  since  Bierstadt  was  "naturally  an  artist  of  great 
ability  and  large  resources,"  he  "might  easily  have  maintained  a  reputa- 
tion as  such  if  he  had  not  grafted  on  the  sensationalism  of  Diisseldorf 
a  greater  ambition  for  notoriety  and  money  than  for  success  in  pure  art." 

Bierstadt's  contemporary,  who  succeeded  him  as  "artist  in  waiting  to 
the  Yosemite  Valley,"  was  Thomas  Hill  (1829-1908).  Beginning  his 
career  as  a  coach  painter,  Hill  depicted  panoramic  views  of  entire  moun- 
tain ranges  which  constituted  the  reductio  ad  absurdum  of  the  California 
School's  approach  to  landscape  painting.  His  celebrity,  like  Bierstadt's, 
was  spectacular;  but  today  the  works  of  these  two  boosters  of  Western 
natural  scenery  are  looked  upon  as  curiosities  of  a  fabulous  epoch. 

The  reputation  of  Thomas  Moran  (1837-1926)  has  suffered  less 
from  the  refinement  of  popular  taste  than  either  of  these  flamboyant 
representatives  of  the  California  School.  Having  studied  abroad,  he 
enriched  his  canvases  with  the  influence  of  Turner.  If  in  his  own  time 
his  works  received  less  vociferous  acclaim  than  inferior  productions,  his 
solid  talent  is  today  being  appreciated.  With  William  Keith's,  the  land- 
scapes of  Moran  represent  the  best  accomplishments — almost  the  sum 
and  substance — of  the  California  School. 

Like  Bierstadt,  Hill,  and  Moran,  Toby  Edward  Rosenthal  (1848- 
1916)  achieved  celebrity  abroad.  Born  in  New  Haven,  Connecticut,  he 
studied  in  San  Francisco  with  the  Mexican  painter,  Fortunate  Arriola, 
in  Munich  at  the  Royal  Academy,  and  with  Raupp  and  Piloty.  After 
gaining  local  fame,  he  maintained  a  studio  in  Munich,  where  he  turned 
out  excellent  examples  of  the  solid  craftsmanship,  the  minuteness  of 
literal  detail,  the  sentiment  and  the  "homely  philosophy"  of  the  Munich 
school  of  genre  painters.  His  method  of  painting  was  laborious, 
scholarly;  he  spent  three  years  in  literary  research,  travel,  and  sketching 
to  produce  a  single  canvas,  The  Trial  of  Constance  de  Beverley  (illus- 
trating Scott's  Marmion),  now  in  the  possession  of  Stanford  University. 
"I  have  spared,"  he  wrote  in  1882  while  at  work  on  it,  "no  labor,  time, 
nor  money  in  my  endeavour  to  make  Marmion  my  greatest  work,"  and 
the  remark  reveals  his  attitude  toward  painting;  to  him,  it  was  related  to 
archeology,  literature,  philosophy.  Only  incidentally,  however,  can 
Rosenthal  be  considered  a  Bay  region  painter.  His  The  Cardinal's 
Portrait  and  the  Seine  Madonna,  both  at  the  California  Palace  of  the 
Legion  of  Honor,  keep  his  curious  local  reputation  alive. 

It  was  only  natural,  once  the  novelty  of  wealth  had  begun  to  wear 
off  and  a  new  generation  had  been  born  to  inherit  it,  that  the  patrons 
of  art  should  take  their  cultural  ambitions  less  casually.  It  was  in- 


GOLDEN     ERA         69 

evitable,  too,  that  artists  of  the  Bay  area  should  forsake  the  old  methods 
and  adopt  the  technique  of  the  Barbizon  School — exemplified  by  such 
painters  as  Corot  and  Millet,  who  strove  to  render  nature  in  her  aspects 
of  light  and  air  rather  than  in  pictorial  detail.  Yet  of  the  San  Fran- 
cisco painters  who  came  under  the  influence  of  the  forerunners  of  Im- 
pressionism, only  one  seems  to  have  gained  a  lasting  distinction. 

William  Keith  (1838-1911),  born  in  Scotland,  came  to  California 
in  1859.  Eschewing  the  colossal  marvels  so  loved  by  Bierstadt  and  Hill, 
he  translated  the  more  benign  aspects  of  the  lower  altitudes  into  turgid, 
dreamy  landscapes,  painted  with  the  molasses-like  impasto  that  was  a 
fault  common  to  the  Diisseldorf  School,  resulting  from  the  use  of 
bitumen.  He  was  content  to  paint  brooding  and  tranquil  landscapes — 
the  interplay  of  light  and  shade  in  groves  of  live  oaks,  forest  glades, 
hillsides,  and  brooks.  His  style  relates  him  somewhat  to  the  Barbizon 
school ;  his  lyric  tranquillity,  to  George  Inness,  who  wTas  his  intimate 
friend.  His  ambition,  like  Vincent  Van  Gogh's,  was  to  achieve  with 
paint  the  effect  of  music.  Often  he  succeeded.  Unfortunately,  his  use 
of  bitumen  to  achieve  subtlety  of  tone  has  caused  many  of  the  paintings 
to  fade  into  indistinctness.  Keith  was  the  only  California  painter  to 
whom  a  whole  room  was  devoted  in  the  United  States  section  of  the 
Panama-Pacific  International  Exposition's  Fine  Arts  Galleries,  yet  until 
recently  he  has  remained  almost  unknown  outside  the  State.  At  the 
Keith  Memorial  Gallery  in  St.  Mary's  College  at  Moraga  and  at  the 
Bohemian  Club  in  San  Francisco  are  many  of  his  paintings. 

The  influence  of  Keith  was  strong  on  the  minor  painters  who  banded 
together  in  the  Bohemian  Club  after  its  foundation  in  1872.  Little  of 
the  California  sunlight  is  reflected  in  Arthur  Mathews'  somber  work, 
but  his  murals  in  the  Mechanics'-Mercantile  Library,  in  the  Lane  Medi- 
cal Library,  and  in  the  Masonic  Temple  illustrate  an  architect's  sense 
of  values.  Typical  of  Gottardo  Piazzoni's  conventionalized  California 
seacoast  and  hill  country  landscapes  are  his  Public  Library  murals,  sub- 
dued in  tone.  A  sincere  and  accomplished  landscapist,  Xavier  TVIartinez 
settled  in  Piedmont  to  paint  the  quiet  beauties  of  the  East  Bay  hill 
country  in  a  number  of  canvases  owned  by  the  Oakland  Art  Gallery. 
Other  Bohemians  were  Bruce  Porter,  architect  and  mural  painter; 
Charles  Dickman  and  Henry  Joseph  Breuer,  landscapists. 

Twenty-three  local  artists  organized  in  1871  the  San  Francisco  Art 
Association  and  the  following  year  opened  headquarters  in  a  loft-like 
gallery  over  a  market,  where  as  a  visitor  to  their  spring  exhibitions  put 
it,  "Art  was  pervaded  with  the  aroma  of  fish  and  the  sound  of  the 
butcher's  cleaver  was  heard."  With  a  collection  of  casts  of  classic 
statuary — the  gift  of  the  Republic  of  France  to  this  gallant  undertaking 
of  culture  in  the  Far  West — the  association  opened  its  school  in  1874 
with  Virgil  Williams  as  master.  From  such  humble  beginnings  the 


7O         SAN     FRANCISCO 

association  was  elevated  when  Edward  F.  Searles,  who  had  married 
Mark  Hopkins'  widow,  presented  it  in  1893  with  the  Nob  Hill  castle 
of  the  railroad  tycoon.  The  house  was  described  by  Amelia  Ransome 
Neville  as  "a  mess  of  anachronisms.  One  entered  portals  of  a  feudal 
castle  to  pass  into  the  court  of  a  doge's  palace,  all  carved  Italian  walnut 
with  a  gallery  around  the  second  story  where  murals  of  Venetian  scenes 
were  set  between  the  arches.  These  were  the  work  of  Jules  Tavernier, 
French  artist,  who  stopped  in  California  after  a  trip  to  the  South  Seas, 
where  he  painted  long  before  Gaugin."  In  gratitude,  the  association 
named  its  school  the  Mark  Hopkins  Institute  of  Art. 

The  first  California  sculptor  whose  name  reached  beyond  the  State 
was  Douglas  Tilden  (18601935)  who,  himself  deaf  from  the  age  of 
five,  studied  in  Paris  with  the  deaf-mute  sculptor  Paul  Chopin.  At 
intersections  along  San  Francisco's  Market  Street,  the  heroic-style  com- 
memorative monuments  for  which  he  was  famous  overlook  the  passing 
traffic — the  Mechanics'  Monument  with  its  three  brawny  artisans  strain- 
ing to  force  a  huge  mechanical  punch  through  a  plate  of  metal,  the 
Native  Sons'  Monument  with  its  bronze  miner  waving  a  flag,  the 
Spanish  War  Monument  with  its  young  soldier  marching  beside  an 
equestrian  Victory.  Public  parks  and  squares  are  plentifully  adorned 
with  the  sculpture  of  such  pupils  of  Tilden's  as  Robert  Ingersoll  Aitken 
(1878 — ),  sculptor  of  the  Victory  Monument  in  Union  Square  and 
the  William  McKinley  Monument  in  Golden  Gate  Park,  and  M.  Earl 
Cummings  (1876-1936),  sculptor  of  the  Hall  McAllister  Monument 
beside  the  City  Hall  and  the  Robert  Burns  Monument  in  Golden  Gate 
Park. 

To  the  rest  of  the  country  until  recent  years,  however,  Tilden's  self- 
taught  younger  contemporary,  Arthur  Putnam  (1873-1930),  was  almost 
the  personification  of  California  sculpture.  From  youthful  experience 
in  riding,  driving  cattle,  working  in  the  forest,  and  laboring  in  a  South 
San  Francisco  slaughterhouse,  Putnam  gained  a  remarkable  knowledge 
of  animal  life,  tamed  and  untamed.  Masterful  in  composition,  his 
bronze  lions,  leopards,  and  pumas  show  close  observation,  a  thorough 
knowledge  of  animal  anatomy,  and  a  sensitive  feeling  for  rhythm  and 
movement.  His  figures  of  children,  rabbits,  and  fish  equal  in  charm  his 
savage  subjects.  Among  his  best  known  works  are  The  Snarling  Jaguar 
in  New  York's  Metropolitan  Museum  and  The  Death  in  the  Boston 
Museum.  The  California  Palace  of  the  Legion  of  Honor  has  a  collec- 
tion of  130  of  his  works. 

At  the  Panama-Pacific  International  Exposition  in  1915  (where 
Putnam  was  represented  only  by  an  ornate  mermaid  fountain  modelled 
from  his  designs — described  by  Sheldon  Cheney  as  "typical  of  the  fine 
strength  of  his  work,  and  at  the  same  time  appealing  by  the  grace  of  its 
sinuous  lines")  one  of  his  students,  Ralph  Stackpole,  was  exhibiting  a 


GOLDEN     ERA         71 

variety  of  sculpture,  including  The  Man  with  a  Pick,  which  was  "justly 
admired  as  a  sincere  portrayal  of  a  simple  laboring  type,"  and  an  un- 
named kneeling  figure  by  the  Palace  of  Fine  Arts  lagoon,  "one  of  the 
most  appealing  bits  of  all  the  Exposition  sculpture,  well  expressing  devo- 
tion and  reverence."  Another  young  San  Francisco  sculptor  represented 
was  Haig  Patigian,  whose  bas-relief  friezes  and  four  nude  male  figures 
— Steam  Power,  Invention,  Electricity,  and  Imagination — for  the  Palace 
of  Machinery  served  "to  carry  out  the  sense  of  immensity  and  strength 
that  characterizes  the  entire  building,"  although  "lacking  the  refinement 
that  would  make  them  interesting  as  something  besides  vigorous  types." 

The  wealth  of  sculpture  and  painting  displayed  at  the  1915  exposi- 
tion was  to  "focus  the  artistic  expression"  of  San  Francisco  Bay  region 
artists  as  the  art  of  the  Columbian  Exposition  at  Chicago  had  done  for 
the  artists  of  the  Nation.  The  "far-reaching  effect"  of  the  Panama- 
Pacific  Exposition,  wrote  Cheney,  was  to  show  "the  immense  value  of 
coordination  of  all  the  arts  .  .  .  The  great  thing  here  is  the  complete 
harmony  of  purpose,  of  design,  and  of  color,  in  the  combined  work  of 
architects,  sculptors,  painters,  and  landscape  gardeners."  It  had  the 
farther-reaching  effect,  perhaps,  of  educating  public  taste  to  the  point 
where  for  the  first  time  local  artists  could  begin  to  expect  informed 
criticism  of  their  work. 

Judging  "the  first  definite  exposition  of  the  new  point  of  view 
crystallized  by  the  influence  of  the  Panama-Pacific  International  Expo- 
sition," a  critic  of  the  San  Francisco  Art  Association's  Forty-second 
Annual  Exhibition  was  pleased  to  note  that  at  last  "the  noble  lines  of 
the  California  hills  are  being  painted  without  pseudo-idealistic,  romantic 
preconceptions."  Comparing  the  canvases  on  view  at  the  latter  exhibi- 
tion with  "previous  Western  'animals',"  a  critic  in  The  International 
Studio  found  "almost  no  vestige  of  the  'brown  sauce'  school  of  yester- 
day" and  little  which  was  "reminiscent  of  Keith,  Whistler,  and  the 
Barbizon  School — three  influences  which,  but  a  very  short  time  ago, 
dominated  the  California  annual  exhibitions." 

In  the  exposition's  Palace  of  Fine  Arts,  the  French  section  had 
exhibited  "a  number  of  examples  of  the  new  and  ultra-new  schools,  from 
Monet  and  Degas  to  Redon  and  Puy."  During  the  quarter-century 
interval  before  San  Francisco  staged  its  next  exposition,  local  artists 
began  to  modify  their  styles  under  influences  even  more  revolutionary — 
Cezanne,  Van  Gogh,  Picasso,  Rousseau,  di  Chirico,  Dali,  and  the  other 
godfathers  of  modern  art.  Among  others,  Lucien  Labaudt  and  Jane 
Berlandina  were  successful  in  grafting  the  best  traditions  of  French  art 
upon  the  local  heritage.  Some  of  the  influences  were  first-hand  ones. 
Henri  Matisse,  for  example,  spent  some  time  in  San  Francisco  painting 
the  Steinhart  Aquarium's  tropical  fish.  Foujita  came  to  teach  some  of 
modern  Japanese  art's  pellucid  quality  to  a  group  which  was  naturally 


72         SAN     FRANCISCO 

receptive  to  an  oriental  treatment  of  local  materials.  When  the  Mexi- 
can muralist,  Diego  Rivera,  came  to  paint  frescoes  for  the  San  Francisco 
Stock  Exchange  and  the  California  School  of  Fine  Arts,  his  influence  on 
many  of  the  local  painters — Victor  Arnautoff,  Ralph  Stackpole,  and 
Bernard  Zakheim,  among  others — was  tremendous.  The  visit  of  Ger- 
man exile  Hans  Hoffman,  the  Munich  abstractionist,  to  teach  summer 
classes  at  the  University  of  California  greatly  inspired  a  group  of  the 
younger  East  Bay  artists,  including  Vaclav  Vytlacil,  Beckford  Young, 
Edgar  Dorsey  Taylor,  and  Florence  Swift.  Hoffman  became  virtually 
the  spiritual  godfather  of  the  East  Bay  group. 

Even  the  California  School  of  Fine  Arts  (as  the  Mark  Hopkins 
Institute  of  Art  had  been  renamed  upon  its  removal  to  new  quarters  on 
Russian  Hill  in  1926),  which  had  hitherto  exhibited  an  academic  bias, 
responded  suddenly  to  the  new  influences.  Feeling  that  the  kind  of 
painting  they  had  learned  abroad  from  followers  of  impressionism  or 
pointillism,  of  Puvis  de  Chavannes  and  Maurice  Denis,  offered  no 
further  promise  of  development,  many  of  the  painters  associated  with 
the  school  became  devotees  of  Cezanne.  Two  of  these,  Lee  Randolph 
and  Spencer  Macky,  studied  briefly  in  Paris  in  1926  under  Andre  Lhote, 
teacher  and  exponent  of  Cezanne's  methods.  The  courses  given  here  by 
Arnold  Blanch  and  Maurice  Sterne  furthered  the  spread  of  modern 
influences.  Meticulous  craftsmen,  the  painters  associated  with  the 
School  of  Fine  Arts  have  come  to  be  characterized,  as  a  group,  by  a  style 
variously  described  as  neo-classicism  and  modern  realism.  Characteristic 
of  the  group  were  the  late  Rinaldo  Cuneo  and  the  late  Frank  Van 
Sloun.  Otis  Oldfield,  Randolph,  and  Macky  are  still  associated  with  it. 
Ray  Boynton,  formerly  a  member  of  this  group,  is  now  teaching  at  the 
University  of  California. 

Aside  from  a  series  of  exhibitions  held  at  the  Palace  of  Fine  Arts 
following  the  1915  exposition,  no  public  galleries  presented  really  com- 
prehensive collections  of  foreign  masterpieces  until  1930.  Lloyd  Le 
Page  Rollins,  appointed  director  of  San  Francisco's  California  Palace  of 
the  Legion  of  Honor,  then  made  it  his  policy  to  secure  traveling  exhibits 
of  international  importance.  After  his  resignation  in  1933  his  policies 
were  continued,  with  certain  unavoidable  reservations,  by  Dr.  Walter 
Heil.  In  1935  the  San  Francisco  Art  Museum  in  the  Civic  Center  was 
opened  under  the  competent,  dynamic  leadership  of  Dr.  Grace  McCann 
Morley.  It  has  become  a  living  center  of  education  and  appreciation  of 
modern  art.  The  response  of  the  public  has  been  remarkable;  attend- 
ance figures  at  the  shows  brought  from  New  York  by  the  museum  have 
approached,  and  in  some  instances  exceeded,  those  of  the  larger  city. 

During  the  depression  the  earliest  large  government-supported  mural 
job.  the  decoration  of  Coit  Tower,  undertaken  by  the  Civil  Works 
Administration  m  1933,  was  a  co-operative  endeavor  involving  a  number 


GOLDEN     ERA         73 

of  San  Francisco's  best-known  artists,  including  Ralph  Stackpole,  Ber- 
nard Zakheim,  Lucien  Labaudt,  Victor  Arnautoff,  Otis  Oldfield, 
Rinaldo  Cuneo,  John  Langley  Howard,  William  Hesthal,  Jane  Ber- 
landina,  Ray  Boynton,  and  Maxine  Albro.  The  murals,  which  show 
principally  the  influence  of  Diego  Rivera,  are  as  a  whole  distinguished 
by  a  high  level  of  craftsmanship.  The  WPA  Art  Project's  decoration 
of  the  Aquatic  Park  Casino  lobby,  the  work  of  Hilaire  Hiler  and  his 
associates,  is,  to  date,  one  of  the  major  accomplishments  of  the  WPA 
Art  Program  in  the  West  and  one  of  its  stellar  achievements  nationally. 
It  is  significant  that  people  come  daily  to  the  building  simply  to  look  at 
the  radiant  fish  depicted  upon  these  walls  and  marvel  at  the  technique 
by  which  they  are  made  to  seem  not  at  rest,  but  alive  with  graceful 
movement. 

Of  Matthew  Barnes,  a  San  Francisco  painter  whose  genius  is  now 
finally  achieving  national  recognition,  William  Saroyan  once  wrote  in 
the  San  Francisco  Call-Bulletin:  "As  he  sees  it,  the  world  is  a  place 
where  all  who  live  are  no  more  than  visitors  ...  A  lonely  place. 
Earth  and  sea  and  sky,  mountain  and  plain  and  tree.  Sun  and  Moon. 
And  then  the  places  of  men:  road  and  gate  and  house  .  .  .  City  and 
streets  and  the  immortal  visitor  of  the  earth:  yourself.  Only  when 
Matthew  Barnes  paints  these  places  and  things  they  begin  to  mean  just 
a  little  more  than  they  used  to  mean."  The  ultimate  sources  of  Barnes' 
terrifying  nocturnes,  of  the  eerie  realism  of  such  studies  as  his  Crime  in 
Concrete,  lie  in  childhood  memories  of  Scottish  folklore  (he  was  born 
in  Ayrshire  in  1886)  no  less  than  in  San  Francisco  streets  seen  through 
swirling  fog  and  incandescent  lamplight : 

".  .  .  ghasties  and  ghoulies  and  four-legged  beasties, 
And  things  that  go  'whoosh'  in  the  night  .  .  ." 

Known  for  his  "Westerns,"  vividly  delineating  such  subjects  as  the 
cattle  ranch,  wild  mustangs,  the  red  raw  canyons,  is  Maynard  Dixon. 
Examples  of  his  mural  decorations  appear  at  the  San  Francisco  Water 
Department,  the  Kit  Carson  Grill,  the  United  States  Building  and 
Loan  Association,  and  the  "Room  of  the  Dons"  in  the  Mark  Hopkins 
Hotel. 

One  of  the  most  disconcerting  of  painters  is  Bernard  Zakheim,  whose 
paintings  are  crudely  drawn,  beautifully  designed,  at  once  complex  and 
brutal — somewhat  resembling  the  work  of  Jose  Clemente  Orozco.  He 
has  done  a  number  of  large  murals  for  both  public  and  private  buildings, 
among  the  best  known  of  which  are  those  in  Coit  Tower,  in  the  Jewish 
Community  Center,  and  at  the  University  of  California  Medical  School. 

Ralph  Stackpole  has  been  an  influence  of  tremendous  value  on 
younger  men;  he  is  responsible  for  a  notable  local  school  of  sculpture. 
Stackpole  adapts  the  earthy  simplicity  of  Mayan  art  to  themes  which 


74         SAN     FRANCISCO 

are  modern  but  nearly  always  elemental.  Strong  simple  masses,  figures 
with  big  hands,  big  hips,  big  feet — these  are  typical  of  his  technique. 
His  stylized,  truly  heroic  proletarian  figures  cut  in  granite  on  bastions 
beside  the  entrance  of  the  San  Francisco  Stock  Exchange  show  his 
tendency  to  make  sculpture  an  appurtenance  of  architecture.  A  domi- 
nant feature  of  the  Golden  Gate  International  Exposition  was  his 
gigantic  figure,  Pacifica. 

Beniamino  Bufano  has  been  at  work  for  more  than  a  decade  on  a 
statue  even  more  tremendous — his  St.  Francis,  which  has  become  almost 
a  San  Francisco  legend.  Bufano's  use  of  color,  of  stainless  steel,  and 
other  unorthodox  media  in  his  sculpture  exhibits  a  daring  which  has 
gained  him  world-wide  renown.  An  excellent  example  of  his  work  is 
the  majestic  Sun  Yat  Sen,  in  stainless  steel  with  a  head  of  rose  granite, 
which  stands  in  St.  Mary's  Square  in  Chinatown. 

The  bas-reliefs — seen  on  the  facade  of  the  Aquatic  Park  Casino — 
and  wood  carvings  of  Sargent  Johnson  are  simple  and  decorative,  treat- 
ing the  human  figure  somewhat  abstractly  but  without  violent  distortion. 
Other  notable  sculptors  include  Ruth  Cravath,  Adeline  Kent,  and 
Robert  Howard,  all  represented  by  bas-reliefs  at  the  San  Francisco 
Stock  Exchange. 

Since  the  late  i93O5s  a  group  of  East  Bay  artists — followers  of  the 
somewhat  forbiddingly  named  Mural  Conceptualist  movement — has 
attempted  to  express  a  functional  inter-relationship  between  the  arts  of 
painting,  design,  and  architecture.  This  new  idea  seems  likely  to  enter 
the  lives  of  more  people  in  a  more  direct  way  than  any  artistic  develop- 
ment since  the  principles  of  functionalism  were  formulated.  To  the 
small  home-owner  this  may  mean  that  the  materials  of  which  a  house  is 
built  can  have  a  quality  more  interesting  than  that  of  keeping  out  the 
elements.  A  hitherto  blank  wall,  for  example,  may  be  enlivened  by  a 
decoration  of  common  bricks  incised  and  arranged  in  ingenious  patterns. 
Deserting  the  studio,  the  conceptualists  work  with  architects,  carpenters, 
and  masons ;  and  their  materials  are  the  materials  of  the  building  trades : 
concrete,  metals,  the  new  plastics,  and  many  kinds  of  glass. 

All  this  renascence  of  the  plastic  arts  in  the  Bay  region,  while  con- 
stituting a  local  "school"  only  in  a  geographical  sense,  exhibits  a  progres- 
sive spirit  which  is  in  the  best  traditions  of  European  and  American  art. 
The  standard  of  criticism  and  appreciation,  among  the  public  generally 
and  in  the  local  press,  has  been  raised  immeasurably.  Encouraging  is 
the  atmosphere  of  healthy,  if  sometimes  violent,  discussion  now  going 
on  among  the  artists  and  their  public  over  problems  of  aesthetics  and 
technique.  There  is  hope  for  a  sound  cultural  tradition  when  people 
can  get  excited  and  angry  and  form  factions  about  the  sanity  and  signifi- 
cance of  Georges  Braque's  The  Yellow  Cloth. 


Calendar  of  Events 


(Note:    "nfd"   means   no   fixed  date] 


Jan.   i 

nfd 
nfd 

nfd 

or  Feb.  nfd 

Feb.  22 

3rd  wk. 

Mar.  17 

nfd 

or  Apr.  nfd 

or  Apr.  nfd 

or  Apr.  nfd 
or  Apr.  nfd 
or  Apr.  nfd 
or  Apr.  nfd 
or  Apr.  nfd 

Apr.  6 
6 

ist  2  wks. 
nfd 

nfd 

nfd 
nfd 


San  Francisco 

San  Francisco 
San  Francisco 

Oakland 

San  Francisco 

Campbell 
Cloverdale 

San  Francisco 

Saratoga 

Niles 

Petaluma 

Lincoln  Park, 

Alameda 
Cragmont  Park, 

Berkeley 
Mount  Davidson, 

San   Francisco 
San  Rafael  Hill, 

San  Rafael 
Saratoga  Summit, 

Saratoga 

Presidio,  San 
Francisco 

Hamilton  Field, 
San  Rafael 

South  San  Fran- 
cisco 

San  Francisco 
and  Oakland 

Kentfield 

Oakland 

San  Francisco 

75 


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Army  Day  (Review) 
Army  Day  (Air  Circus) 

Interstate  Livestock  and  Baby 

Beef  Show 
Baseball  Season  Opens 

Annual  Pistol  Shoot 

Food  Show 

Spring  Yacht  Regatta 


76 


SAN     FRANCISCO 


nfd 


Golden  Gate  Park, 
San  Francisco 


nfd 

San  Francisco 

and  May  nfd 

Mira  Monte  Park, 

Kentfield 

or  May  nfd 

Kentfield 

or  May  nfd 

Napa 

or  May  nfd 

Oakland 

or  May  nfd 

Sebastopol 

or  May  nfd 

San  Rafael 

May  i 

Golden  Gate  Park, 

San  Francisco 

i 

San  Anselmo 

12-19 

Calero  Reservoir, 

Santa  Clara  Co. 

16-17 

San  Jose 

3rd  wk. 

Lincoln  Park, 

Alameda 

3rd  wk. 

San  Jose 

3rd  Sun. 

Mount  Tamalpais 

30 

Lake  Merritt, 

Oakland 

30 

San  Francisco 

nfd 

Calistoga 

nfd 

Hayward 

nfd 

Oakland 

nfd 

Redwood  City 

nfd 

Richmond 

nfd 

San  Rafael 

nfd 

St.  Helena 

or  June  nfd 

Madrone 

June  1st  wk. 

Martinez 

1st  wk. 

Oakland 

ist  wk. 

Santa  Rosa 

and  wk. 

Livermore 

3rd  wk. 

Shellville 

24 

Alameda 

nfd 

Brentwood 

nfd 

Martinez 

nfd 

Oakland 

nfd 

San  Mateo 

nfd 

San  Rafael 

Japanese   Cherry  Blossom  Fes- 
tival 

Wild  Flower  Show 
Iris  Blooming  Season 

Tamalpais  Center  Flower 

Show 

Spring  Flower  Show 
California  Spring  Garden  Show 
Blossom  Festival 
Annual  Art  Exhibit 

Children's  May  Day  Festival 

May  Day  Festival 
Motorboat  Regatta 

Hobby  Fair 

May  Day  Celebration 

Fiesta  de  las  Rosas 
Mountain  Theater  Play 
Memorial   Day   Motorboat 

Regatta 

Memorial  Day  Parade 
Kiddies'  Play  Day  Parade 
Rodeo 

Mills  College  Horse  Show 
Pet  Parade 

Fiesta  and  Horse  Show 
Horse  Show 

Napa  County  4  H  Club  Fair 
Rodeo 

Early  Days  Fiesta 

Sportsmen's  Carnival 

Rodeo 

Rodeo 

Sonoma  Rodeo 

Scandinavian  Midsummer  Day 

Celebration 
Apricot  Festival 
Soap  Box  Derby 
Gladiolus  Show 
Gymkhana  Club  Horse  Show 
Dog  Show 


CALENDAR     OF     EVENTS 


77 


July  ist  wk. 

Calistoga 

4 

Fairfax 

4 

Lake  Merritt, 

Oakland 

4 

San  Francisco 

14 

San  Francisco 

nfd 

San  Francisco 

or  Aug.  nfd 

Petaluma 

Silverado  Fair  and  Horse  Show 

Celebration,  Horse  Show 

Fireworks  and  Motorboat  Re- 
gatta 

Fireworks 

Bastille  Day  Celebration 

Soap  Box  Derby 

Sonoma-Marin  Agricultural 
Fair 


Aug.  2nd  wk. 
4th  wk. 

3 1 -Sept.  2 

nfd 

nfd 

nfd 
nfd 
nfd 
nfd 


Atherton 
Pleasanton 

Gilroy 
Antioch 
Berkeley  Yacht 

Harbor 
San  Francisco 
San  Francisco 
San  Leandro 
Santa  Rosa 


or  Sept.  nfd     Pittsburg 


Sept.  9 


1st  wk. 
3rd  wk. 

nfd 
nfd 

nfd 
nfd 

nfd 
nfd 
nfd 

or  Oct.  nfd 
or  Oct.  nfd 


Oct.  12 


12 

3rd  wk. 

31 


Throughout  Bay 

Area 

San  Francisco 
Bay  Meadows 

Benicia 
Berkeley 

Napa 

Lake  Merritt, 

Oakland 
Richardson  Bay 
St.  Helena 
San  Jose 

San  Jose 
San  Rafael 

Lake  Merritt, 

Oakland 
San  Francisco 
San  Francisco 

Petaluma 


San  Mateo  Horse  Show 
Alameda  County  Fair  and 

Fiesta  del  Vino 
Round-Up  and  Gymkhana 
Contra  Costa  County  Fair 
Berkeley  Regatta 

Harbor  Day 

Dahlia  and  Flower  Show 

Dahlia  Show 

Sonoma  County  Fair  and  Horse 

Show 
Western  Horse  Show 

Admission  Day  Celebration 

Labor  Day  Parade 

San  Mateo  County  Fiesta  and 
Rodeo 

Old  Timers'  Celebration 

Pacific  Coast  Tennis  Cham- 
pionship Tournament 

Fall  Flower  Show 

Outboard  Motor  Races 

Yacht  Regatta 
Vintage  Festival 
Fiesta  de  las  Rosas  Golf  Tour- 
nament 

Santa  Clara  Valley  Fair 
Old  San  Rafael  Days  Fiesta 

Columbus  Day  Festival  and 
Motorboat  Regatta 

Columbus  Day  Festival 

Grand  National  Livestock  Ex- 
position 

Parade  of  the  Witches 


S A  N     FRAN  CISCO 


nfd 
nfd 
nfd 
nfd 

Nov.  ii 

ii 
ii 
ii 

nfd 


nfd 
nfd 

Dec.  ist  wk. 
14 

25 

4th  wk. 

4th  wk. 

nfd 
nfd 


Bay  Meadows 
San  Francisco 
San  Francisco 
Watsonville 

Mill  Valley 

Oakland 
San  Francisco 
Santa  Rosa 

Berkeley,  Even 

Years 
Palo  Alto,  Odd 

Years 
Hayward 

San  Francisco 


Oakland 
Santa  Rosa 


Oakland 
San  Francisco 
Piedmont 

San  Francisco 

Santa  Rosa 
St.  Helena 


Opening  Horse  Racing  Season 
Opening  Grand  Opera  Season 
Opening  Symphony  Season 
Santa  Cruz  County  Fair 

Marin   County  Armistice   Day 

Celebration 
Armistice  Day  Parade 
Armistice  Day  Parade 
Sonoma  County  Armistice  Day 

Celebration 
California-Stanford  Big  Game 


Winter  Poultry,  Pigeon,  Ban- 
tam, and  Rabbit  Show 

Santa  Clara-St.  Mary's  Foot- 
ball Game 

Cat  Show 

Lighting  of  Cedar  of  Lebanon 
Tree  Marking  Luther  Bur- 
bank's  Grave 

Christmas  Pageant 

New  Year's  Eve  Celebration 

Outdoor  Christmas  Tree  Dis- 
play 

Outdoor  Christmas  Tree  Dis- 
play 

Christmas  Fiesta 

Christmas  Festival 


PART  II 
;  "The  City" 

<&<88&&^^^^ 


General  Information 


Information  Service:  Better  Business  Bureau,  15  Stockton  St.  Cali- 
fornia State  Automobile  Assn.  (A.  A.  A.),  150  Van  Ness  Ave.  Calif or- 
nians,  Inc.,  703  Market  St.  National  Auto  Club,  228  Pine  St.  Red- 
wood Empire  Assn.,  85  Post  St.  San  Francisco  Chamber  of  Commerce, 
333  Pine  St.  San  Francisco  Hotel  Assn.,  821  Market  St.  Shell 
Travel  Bureau,  102  Bush  St.  State  Chamber  of  Commerce,  350  Bush 
St.  State  Dept.  of  Motor  Vehicles,  160  Van  Ness  Ave.  S.  State 
Park  Commission,  417  Montgomery  St.  Travelers'  Aid,  Ferry  Bldg. 
U.  S.  Forest  Service,  760  Market  St.  U.  S.  Travel  Bureau,  461 
Market  St.  Out-of-town  telephone  directories  at:  Telephone  Bldg., 
444  Bush  St.,  and  pay  stations,  104  Powell  St.;  Emporium,  835  Market 
St.;  Roos  Bros.,  O'Farrell  St.  entrance  (near  Stockton  St.)  ;  and  several 
hotels.  Reference  library  information  bureaus  (limited  service)  :  Call- 
Bulletin,  Examiner,  News.  For  correct  time  call  ROchester  8900. 

Railroad  Stations:  Atchison,  Topeka  and  Santa  Fe  Ry.,  bus  connec- 
tions at  44~4th  St. ;  ticket  office,  235  Geary  St.  Northwestern  Pacific 
R.  R.,  Ferry  Bldg.;  ticket  office,  65  Market  St.  Southern  Pacific  R.  R., 
Ferry  Bldg.  Sacramento  Northern  Ry.,  Bay  Bridge  Terminal,  1st  and 
Mission  Sts.  Southern  Pacific  R.  R.,  3rd  and  Townsend  Sts.,  and 
Ferry  Bldg.;  main  ticket  office,  65  Geary  St.  Western  Pacific  R.  R., 
Ferry  Bldg. ;  ticket  office,  287  Geary  St. 

Bus  Stations:  Abbott  Lines,  85~4th  St.  Airline  Bus  Co.,  55~5th  St.; 
main  office,  1188  Harrison  St.  All  American  Bus  Lines,  Inc.,  40  Eddy 
St.  Dollar  Bus  Lines,  781  Market  St.  Pacific  Greyhound  Lines,  75- 
5th  St.  Burlington  Trailways,  Gibson  Lines,  Key  System,  Napa  Val- 
ley Bus  Co.,  National  Trailways  System,  River  Auto  Stages  Co., 
Sacramento  Northern,  and  Santa  Fe  Trailways  Bus  System  (main  office, 
85-5 th  St.),  44-4th  St. 

Sightseeing  Buses:  Gray  Line,  781  Market  St.  Several  private 
limousine  stands  near  Union  Square. 

Airports:  Municipal  Airport  (Mills  Field),  13  m.  S.  on  US  101 
Bypass,  for  United  Airlines  and  TWA.  Treasure  Island  for  Pan 
American  Airways;  office,  427  Post  St.  Taxis  to  Municipal  Airport, 
$3.oo-$3.5O;  time  30  min. 

8l 


82         SAN     FRANCISCO 

Taxis:     25^  first  1/3  m.,  10^'  each  additional  2/5  m. 

Streetcars  and  Buses:  Local:  California  St.  Cable  Ry.,  5$,  Market 
St.  Ry.,  7^,  Municipal  Ry.,  5$;  free  transfers.  Jitneys  (privately 
owned)  from  downtown  to  County  line,  10^.  Interurban:  Trans-Bay 
electric  trains  to  East  Bay,  21^,  round  trip  42^.  Market  St.  Ry. 
down  Peninsula  to  San  Mateo,  25^.  Pacific  Greyhound  and  North- 
western Pacific  to  Marin  County  cities.  Southern  Pacific  to  southern 
Peninsula  cities. 

Bridges:  San  Francisco-Oakland  Bay  Bridge  approaches:  5th  and 
Bryant  Sts.  and  Fremont  and  Harrison  Sts. ;  toll  25^  (i  to  5  passen- 
gers), 5^  for  each  additional  passenger;  no  pedestrians.  Golden  Gate 
Bridge  approaches:  Marina  Blvd.  and  Baker  St.,  Lombard  and  Brod- 
erick  Sts.,  Lake  St.  and  Park  Presidio  Blvd.  (Presidio  Tunnel);  toll 
50^  (i  to  5  passengers),  5^  for  each  additional  passenger;  pedestrians 
10^  within  turnstiles. 

Piers:  Embarcadero,  foot  of  Market  St.  For  travel  information  con- 
sult travel  bureaus  or  steamship  companies. 

Traffic  Regulations:  Speed  limit  25  m.p.h.  in  business  and  residential 
districts.  No  U-turn  in  business  district.  No  left-turn  on  Market  St. 
east  of  Van  Ness  Ave.  No  parking  on  Market  St.  7  a.m. -6  p.m.  No 
parking  in  central  traffic  district  (bounded  by  Mission  and  California 
Sts.,  1st  and  Taylor  Sts.)  8-9:30  a.m.  and  4:30-6  p.m.  Parking  limit 
varies  (see  street  signs).  Right-turn  against  red  light  outside  business 
district  after  full  stop  and  if  pedestrian  lane  is  clear. 

Radio  Stations:  KSFO  (CBS,  560  kc.),  639  Market  St.  KPO 
(NBC  red  network,  680  kc.),  and  KGO  (NBC  blue  network,  790 
kc.),  in  Sutter  St.  KROW  (some  NBC  broadcasts,  930  kc.),  505 
Geary  St.  KFRC  (Don  Lee  Mutual  Broadcasting  System,  610  kc.), 
1000  Van  Ness  Ave.  KJBS  (Northern  California  Broadcasting  Sys- 
tem, 1070  kc.),  1470  Pine  St.  KSAN  (McClatchy  Broadcasting  Sys- 
tem, 1420  kc.),  1355  Market  St.  KYA  (1230  kc.),  5~3rd  St. 

Motion  Picture  Houses  (only  doiuntown  theaters  are  listed.  Box 
offices  are  o'pen  approximately  from  II  a.m.  to  10  p.m.,  except  Sat. 
when  first-run  houses  have  midnight  showings)  :  First-Run:  Fox,  1350 
Market  St.;  Paramount,  1966  Market  St.;  St.  Francis,  965  Market 
St.;  Warfield,  988  Market  St.;  Golden  Gate  (with  vaudeville),  Golden 
Gate  Ave.  and  Taylor  St. ;  Orpheum,  Market  and  Hyde  Sts. ;  United 
Artists,  1077  Market  St.  Second-Run  (only  the  larger  theaters  are 


GENERAL     INFORMATION         83 

listed) :  California,  4th  and  Market  Sts. ;  Davies,  934  Market  St.;  New 
Embassy,  1125  Market  St.  Newsreel:  Telenews,  Market  St.  near 
Powell  St.;  The  Newsreel,  980  Market  St.  Foreign  Language:  Clay, 
2261  Fillmore  St.;  Larkin,  816  Larkin  St.;  Princess,  1584  Church  St.; 
Verdi,  644  Broadway;  Vogue,  3290  Sacramento  St. 

Legitimate  Theaters:     Curran,  445  Geary  St.;  Geary,  407  Geary  St. 

Amateur  and  Little  Theaters:  Andre  Ferrier  Art  Theater,  1470 
Washington  St.,  productions  in  French;  Children's  Theater  Associa- 
tion, High  School  of  Commerce  Auditorium;  Fairmont  Hotel,  950 
Mason  St. ;  Girl's  Club,  362  Capp  St. ;  Jewish  Community  Playhouse, 
California  St.  and  Presidio  Ave. ;  Theater  Arts  Colony,  1725  Washing- 
ton St.;  Wayfarers  Playhouse,  1740  Clay  St. 

Burlesque  Theaters:  Capitol  Follies,  50  Ellis  St.;  Kearny,  825  Kearny 
St.;  Liberty,  649  Broadway. 

Concert  Halls:  Civic  Auditorium,  Grove  St.  between  Polk  and  Larkin 
Sts.;  Community  Playhouse,  609  Sutter  St.;  Opera  House  (War  Me- 
morial), Van  Ness  Ave.  at  Grove  St.;  Scottish  Rite  Auditorium,  Van 
Ness  Ave.  at  Sutter  St.;  Veteran's  Building  (War  Memorial),  Van 
Ness  Ave.  at  McAllister  St. 

Dance  Halls  (The  following  list  includes  only  public  dance  halls.  One 
also  may  dance  at  the  larger  hotels,  in  many  night  clubs,  and  at  fraternal 
halls):  Avalon  Ball  Room,  1268  Sutter  St.,  open  8-12:30  nightly 
except  Mon.  and  Wed.,  8-1  Sat.,  popular  and  old-fashioned  dances. 
Knights  of  Columbus  Hall,  150  Golden  Gate  Ave.,  Sat.  nights  only, 
8-12:30,  modern  and  old-fashioned  dancing.  Wolohan's  Ball  Room, 
1319  Market  St.,  open  8-12  Sun.,  Mon.,  Wed.,  Fri.;  8-12:30  Sat.  El 
Patio  Ball  Room,  1545  Market  St.,  open  8-12:30  nightly  except  Mon. 
and  Wed. 

Night  Clubs  (Clubs  close  at  2  a.m.  It  is  illegal  to  sell  liquor  between 
2  and  6  a.m.):  Alabam,  i82oA  Post  St.,  Negro;  short  orders,  a  la 
carte;  dancing. 

Bal  Tabarin,  1025  Columbus  Ave.,  dinner,  floor  show,  dancing. 
Beachcomber,  142  Francisco  St.;  dinner,  floor  shows  Wed.,  Fri.,  Sat. 
Chinese  Sky  Room,  605   Pine   St. ;  Chinese ;  dinner ;  floor  show  Sat. ; 
dancing. 

Finocchio's,  506  Broadway;  no  dinner;  floor  show  (female  imperson- 
ators). 


84         SAN     FRANCISCO 

Forbidden  City,  363  Sutter  St. ;  Chinese ;  minimum  charge ;  dinner,  all- 
Chinese  floor  show;  no  dinner  nor  floor  show  on  Sun. 
John's    Rendezvous,    50    Osgood    PL ;    minimum    charge ;    floor    show, 
dancing. 

La  Conga,  525  Pacific  St.;  Cuban;  dinner,  floor  show. 
La  Fiesta,  553  Bay  St.;  marimba  band;  dinner,  floor  show;  closed  Mon. 
Lido,  915  Columbus  Ave. ;  luncheon  dances,  Thurs.  1-4  p.m.,  Sat.  1-4 
p.m. ;  minimum  charge ;  dinner,  dancing,  floor  show ;  closed  Tues. 
Moderne,  555  Sutter  St.;  minimum  charge;  dinner,  floor  show. 
Monaco,  560  Pacific  St. ;  dinner,  floor  show. 

Music  Box,  859  O'Farrell  St.;  minimum  charge;  dinner,  floor  show. 
Roberts-at-the-Beach,  2200  Great  Highway;  dinner,  dancing. 
Royal  Hawaiian,  960  Bush  St.;  minimum  charge;  dinner,  floor  show; 
closed  Mon. 

Sinaloa,  1416  Powell  St.;  dinner,  floor  show. 
South  Seas,  540  Sutter  St.;  dinner,  entertainment. 
Streets  of  Paris,  54  Mason  St. ;  dinner,  entertainment ;  closed  Sun. 
Tahitian  Hut,  99  Broadway;  dinner,  all-Tahitian  floor  show. 
Three  Six  Five,  365  Market  St.;  minimum  charge;  dinner,  floor  show. 
Tiny's  Embassy,  2766  Taylor  St. ;  minimum  charge ;  dinner,  floor  show. 

HOTEL  AND  OTHER  ACCOMMODATIONS 

San  Francisco  has  1,326  hotels  and  rooming  houses — more  per  capita, 
it  is  said,  than  any  other  city  in  the  world.  The  following  list  is  con- 
fined to  hotels  in  the  area  bounded  by  Market  Street  on  the  south,  Bush 
Street  on  the  north,  Grant  Avenue  on  the  east,  and  Larkin  Street  on 
the  west.  Space  limitation  forbids  inclusion  of  hundreds  of  lower-price 
hotels. 

Luxury-Class  Hotels:  Clift,  495  Geary  St.;  Fairmont,  950  Mason 
St.;  Mark  Hopkins,  999  California  St.;  Palace,  639  Market  St.;  St. 
Francis,  335  Powell  St. ;  Sir  Francis  Drake,  450  Powell  St. 

Medium-Rate  Hotels:  Alexander  Hamilton,  631  O'Farrell  St.;  Am- 
bassador, 55  Mason  St.;  Baldwin,  321  Grant  Ave.;  Bellevue,  505  Geary 
St.;  Beresford,  635  Sutter  St.;  Biltmore,  735  Taylor  St.;  Bristol,  56 
Mason  St.;  Californian,  405  Taylor  St.;  Canterbury,  750  Sutter  St.; 
Carlton,  1075  Sutter  St.;  Cartwright,  524  Sutter  St.;  Casa  Nova,  354 
O'Farrell  St.;  Cecil,  545  Post  St.;  Chancellor,  433  Powell  St.;  Colo- 
nial, 650  Bush  St.;  Commodore,  825  Sutter  St.;  Cordova,  521  Post  St.; 
Court,  555  Bush  St.;  Crane,  245  Powell  St.;  Dalt,  34  Turk  St.;  Daven- 
port, 540  Jones  St.;  Devonshire,  335  Stockton  St.;  Drake- Wiltshire, 
340  Stockton  St.;  El  Cortez,  550  Geary  St. 


GENERAL     INFORMATION         85 

Empire,  100  McAllister  St.;  Fielding,  386  Geary  St.;  Franciscan,  350 
Geary  St.  ;  Gaylord,  620  Jones  St.  ;  Glen  Royal,  940  Sutter  St.  ;  Golden 
State,  114  Powell  St.;  Harvard,  685  Ellis  St.;  Herald,  308  Eddy  St.; 
Herbert,  161  Powell  St.;  King  George,  334  Mason  St.;  LaFayette, 
240  Hyde  St.;  LaSalle,  225  Hyde  St.;  Lyric,  140  Jones  St.;  Manx,  225 
Powell  St.;  Mark  Twain,  345  Taylor  St.;  Maurice,  761  Post  St.; 
Mayflower,  975  Bush  St.;  New  Continental,  127  Ellis  St.;  Olympic, 
230  Eddy  St.;  Oxford,  16  Turk  St. 

Padre,  241  Jones  St.;  Palomar,  364  O'Farrell  St.;  Plaza,  310  Post  St.; 
Powell,  17  Powell  St.;  Roosevelt,  240  Jones  St.;  San  Carlos,  811  Geary 
St.;  Senate,  467  Turk  St.;  Senator,  519  Ellis  St.;  Shaw,  1112  Market 
St.;  Sheldon,  629  Post  St.;  Somerton,  440  Geary  St.;  Springer,  615 
Taylor  St.  ;  Stewart,  353  Geary  St.  ;  Stratford,  242  Powell  St.  ;  Sussex, 
701  Sutter  St.;  Travelers,  255  O'Farrell  St.;  Vanderbilt,  221  Mason 
St.;  Victoria,  598  Bush  St.;  Virginia,  312  Mason  St.;  Washington, 
342  Grant  Ave.;  Whitcomb,  1231  Market  St.;  Willard,  161  Ellis  St.; 
Worth,  641  Post  St. 

Hotels  for  Women:  Emanu-El  Sisterhood,  300  Page  St.;  Evangeline 
Residence,  44  McAllister  St.;  Women's  Hotel,  642  Jones  St.  The 
following  rent  by  the  week  only:  Girls'  Friendly  Society  Lodge,  1590 
Sutter  St.;  Girls'  Recreation  Home  Club,  557  Van  Ness  Ave.,  S.; 
Glide,  322  Ellis  St.;  Mary  Elizabeth  Inn,  1040  Bush  St.;  St.  Mar- 
garet's Club,  1499  California  St. 

Apartment  Hotels  (The  following  list  includes  only  those  offering 
weekly  accommodations):  Clifton,  520  Taylor  St.;  El  Cortez,  550 
Geary  St.;  Huntington,  1075  California  St.;  Keystone,  1369  Hyde  St.; 
Worth,  745  Hyde  St. 


Y.M.C.A/S  and  Y.W.C.A.'S:  Y.M.C.A.,  220  Golden  Gate  Ave.; 
Y.M.C.A.  Hotel  (for  men,  women,  and  families),  351  Turk  St.; 
Y.M.C.A.  Chinese  Branch,  855  Sacramento  St.;  Y.M.C.A.  Army  and 
Navy  Branch,  166  Embarcadero. 

Y.W.C.A.,  620  Sutter  St.;  Y.W.C.A.  Chinese  Branch,  965  Clay  St.; 
Y.W.C.A.  Japanese  Branch  (women  under  35  only),  1830  Sutter  St. 

Tourist  Camps:  Marina  Motel,  2576  Lombard  St.;  Ocean  Park 
Motor  Court,  46th  and  Wawona  Sts.  ;  San  Francisco  Auto  Court,  701 
Sunnydale  Ave.  Other  courts  are  located  south  of  the  city  limits  on 
US  101,  US  101  Bypass,  and  State  I. 


86         SAN     FRANCISCO 

RESTAURANTS 

(Each  establishment  has  a  public  or  service  bar  unless  otherwise  stated.} 

Downtown:  Bay  City  Grill,  45  Turk  St.,  a  la  carte;  Bernstein's  Fish 
Grotto,  123  Powell  St.;  Bit  of  Sweden,  560  Sutter  St.;  Blue  Lagoon, 
153  Maiden  Lane;  Breen's,  7i-3rd  St.,  a  la  carte;  Cairo  (Armenian), 
77~4th  St.,  a  la  carte,  no  liquor;  California  Inn  (German),  600  Turk 
St.;  Charles  Fashion  Grill  (Italian),  243  O'Farrell  St.;  Collins  & 
Wheeland,  347  Montgomery  St.;  Diller's  Hungarian  Kosher  Style,  126 
Turk  St.,  beer  and  wine;  Famous  RKO  Grill,  35  Taylor  St.;  Fly  Trap, 
73  Sutter  St.;  Forbidden  City  (Chinese  and  American),  363  Sutter  St., 
closed  Sun.;  Girard's  French,  65  Ellis  St.;  Golden  Pheasant,  Powell 
at  Geary  St.;  Hawaiian  Paradise,  67A-ist  St.;  Jacinto  (Mexican), 
67  Turk  St.,  wine;  John's  Grill,  63  Ellis  St.;  Kit  Carson,  395  Geary 
St.;  La  Buvette,  134  Maiden  Lane;  Louis'  Fashion  (French-Italian), 
526  Market  St.;  Madrid  (Spanish),  165  O'FarreH  St.,  wine;  Maison 
Paul,  1214  Market  St.;  Marconi  (French-Italian),  241  Pine  St.;  Mario 
&  Frank's  (Italian),  225  California  St.,  closed  Sun.;  Mayes  Oyster 
House,  531  California  St.,  a  la  carte;  Mayfair,  116  Maiden  Lane,  no 
liquor;  Omar  Khayyam  (Armenian),  196  O'Farrell  St.;  Oyster  Loaf, 
30  Kearny  St.;  Pierre's  (French),  447  Pine  St.;  Pig'nWhistle,  33 
Powell  St.,  621  Market  St.,  130  Post  St.  and  1032  Market  St.;  Prizer's 
Hungarian  Kosher,  89  Turk  St. ;  Roundhouse,  Toll  Plaza,  Golden  Gate 
Bridge,  beer;  Russian  Tea  Room,  326  Sutter  St.,  closed  Mon.,  wine  and 
beer;  Ruth's,  333  Sutter  St.,  health  food,  no  liquor;  Solari's,  354  Geary 
St.;  St.  Julian  (French),  140  Battery  St.;  Temple  Bar,  25  Tillman 
PL;  Three  Musketeers  (German),  200  Hyde  St. 

Historic  San  Francisco:  Blue  Fox  (Italian),  659  Merchant  St.;  Jack's 
(French),  615  Sacramento  St.;  Manger  (Italian),  611  Washington 
St.;  Old  Grotto  (Italian),  545  Washington  St.;  Schroeder's  (German), 
in  Front  St.;  Tadich  Grill,  545  Clay  St.;  William  Tell  (German- 
Swiss),  630  Clay  St.,  dancing  nightly. 

Chinatown:  Cathay  House,  718  California  St.;  Far  East,  631  Grant 
Ave. ;  Hang  Far  Low,  723  Grant  Ave.,  beer;  Lotus  Bowl,  626  Grant 
Ave.,  no  liquor;  Manila  (Filipino),  606  Jackson  St.,  no  liquor;  Shangai 
Low,  532  Grant  Ave.;  Sun  Hung  Heung,  744  Washington  St.;  Tao 
Tao,  675  Jackson  St. ;  Universal,  824  Washington  St.,  wine  and  beer ; 
Yamato  Hotel  (Japanese),  717  California  St.,  sake  and  beer;  Yamato, 
562  Grant  Ave.;  Yee  Jun's,  834  Washington  St.,  beer. 

North  Beach:  Aquatic  Park  Casino,  foot  of  Polk  St.;  Backyard 
(Italian),  1024  Kearny  St.;  Ernie's  (Italian  and  French),  847  Mont- 


GENERAL     INFORMATION         87 

gomery  St.;  Globe  (Spanish,  French  and  Italian),  771  Broadway; 
House  That  Jack  Built  (Costa  Rican),  2014  Grant  Ave. ;  Jai-Alai 
(Basque),  895  Pacific  St.;  Julius  Castle  (Italian),  302  Greenwich  St.; 
John's  Rendezvous,  50  Osgood  PL;  Hotel  Espanol  (Basque),  719 
Broadway;  La  Favorite  (French),  825  Pacific  St.;  Lucca's  (Italian), 
405  Francisco  St.;  Lupo's  Pizzeria  (Italian),  1942  Kearny  St.;  New 
Joe's  (Italian),  536  Broadway,  wine  and  beer;  New  Tivoli  (French- 
Italian),  1438  Grant  Ave.;  Ripley's  (French),  846  Jackson  St.;  Riviera 
(French-Italian),  Union  and  Stockton  Sts. ;  Shadows,  1349  Mont- 
gomery St.,  closed  Mon. ;  Sinaloa  (Mexican),  1416  Powell  St.;  Va- 
nessi's  (Italian),  498  Broadway;  Veneto's  (Italian),  389  Bay  St.; 
Xochimilco  (Mexican),  1350  Powell  St. 

International  Settlement:  La  Conga  (Mexican-Spanish),  523  Pacific 
St.;  Monaco  (French-Italian),  560  Pacific  St.;  Rice  Bowl  (Chinese), 
555  Pacific  St. 

Fisherman  s  Wharf:  Fisherman's  Grotto,  9  Fisherman's  Wharf;  Joe 
Di  Maggio's,  Fisherman's  Wharf;  Neptune  Fish  Grotto,  2737  Taylor 
St.;  Pop-Eye  Fish  Grotto,  2770  Taylor  St. 

Western  Addition:  Cherryland  Sukiyaki  (Japanese  and  American), 
1650  Post  St.,  sake  and  beer;  El  Portal,  8th  Ave.  and  Fulton  St.; 
Grison's  Chicken  House,  2050  Van  Ness  Ave. ;  Grison's  Steak  and  Chop 
House,  Van  Ness  and  Pacific  Aves. ;  Jack's  Tavern  ( Negro — Southern 
cooking),  1931  Sutter  St.;  Russian  (private  residence),  1850  Geary  St., 
open  4-8  p.m.  weekdays,  9  a.m.-i  p.m.  Sun.,  no  liquor;  Salad  Bowl, 
5616  Geary  St.;  Swedish  Applied  Arts  Sveagard,  2016  Pacific  St.,  open 
to  public  7  p.m.  Thurs.  and  Fri.  by  reservation,  no  liquor;  Tenkatsu 
Mikayi  (Japanese),  1762  Buchanan  St.,  sake  and  wine. 

Beach:  Cliff  House,  Point  Lobos  Ave.  (overlooking  Seal  Rocks)  ; 
Topsy's  Roost  (Southern  cooking),  660  Great  Highway,  open  Fri., 
Sat.,  and  Sun.  nights;  Robert's,  220  Great  Highway. 

SPORTS 

For  information,  or  further  information,  about  archery,  baseball,  basketball, 
cricket,  cycling,  flycasting,  football,  handball,  harness  horse  racing,  horseshoe 
pitching,  lawn  bowling,  polo,  riding,  softball,  and  tennis,  see  GOLDEN  GATE 
PARK. 

Badminton:  Burke  Gymnasium,  2350  Geary  St.;  Palace  of  Fine  Arts, 
Baker  St.  near  Marina  Blvd. 

Baseball:  Seals  Stadium,  Bryant  and  i6th  Sts.  (Pacific  Coast  League)  ; 
season,  Apr.  1st  to  Sept.  I5th. 


88         SAN     FRANCISCO 

Basketball:     Y.M.C.A.,  Golden  Gate  Ave.  and  Leavenworth  St. 

Billiards  (Only  downtown  parlors  listed} :  California  Billiard  Parlor, 
1028  Market  St.;  Cochran  and  Palm  Billiard  Palace,  924  Market  St.; 
Ferry  Pool  Room,  82  Embarcadero;  Harvard  Billiard  and  Pool  Parlor, 
36  Kearny  St. ;  San  Francisco  Billiard  Parlor,  949  Market  St. ;  Wal- 
dorf Billiard  Parlor,  165  Eddy  St.;  Wright's  Billiard  Palace,  82 
Ellis  St. 

Bowling:  Bagdad  Bowling  Alleys,  1641  Ellis  St.;  Fillmore  Recreation 
Bowling  Dome,  1515  Eddy  St.;  Golden  Gate  Recreation,  115  Jones 
St.;  Hub  Bowling  Alley,  1671  Market  St.;  Powell  Street  Recreation, 
115  Powell  St.;  Rialto  Bowling  Bowl,  80  Ellis  St.  Bowling  greens 
and  facilities  for  public  bowling  are  maintained  by  the  city  at  Funston 
Field,  in  the  Marina ;  at  Julius  Kahn  Playground,  Pacific  Ave.  between 
Spruce  and  Laurel  Sts. ;  and  at  Rossi  Playground,  Arguello  Blvd.  at 
Anza  St. 

Boxing:  Civic  Auditorium,  Grove  and  Larkin  Sts. ;  National  Hall, 
1975  Mission  St.;  Coliseum  Bowl,  45-1  ith  St. 

Cricket:     Julius  Kahn  Playground. 

Cycling:  Bicycle-renting  establishments,  Great  Highway  and  Wawona 
Sts.,  near  Fleishhacker  Pool;  3214  Fillmore  St.;  1823  Haight  St.; 
2218  and  222O  Lombard  St.;  638,  672,  780  and  854  Stanyan  St. 
Cycling  permitted  on  the  Golden  Gate  Bridge;  toll-charge  10^  per 
cyclist. 

Fishing:  Lake  Merced,  free;  Municipal  Pier  at  Aquatic  Park,  N. 
end  of  Van  Ness  Ave.,  free;  Water-front  piers  and  Mission  Rock  near 
foot  of  Third  St.,  free. 

Football:     Roberts  Field,  I5th  and  Valencia  Sts. 

Golf:  Harding  Park  Municipal  Golf  Course,  36th  Ave.  at  Sunset 
Blvd.;  18  holes  and  6-hole  practice  course;  75^  weekdays,  $1.00  Sat., 
Sun.,  holidays;  monthly  ticket  $3.00.  Ingleside  Public  Golf  Course, 
Junipero  Serra  Blvd.  and  19th  Ave.;  18  holes;  75^  Mon.-Fri.,  $1.25 
Sun.,  holidays;  Sat.,  75^  before  u,  $1.25  11-4,  50^  after  4;  monthly 
$3.00.  Lincoln  Park  Municipal  Golf  Links,  33rd  Ave.  and  Clement 
St.;  1 8  holes;  50^  weekdays,  75^  Sat.,  Sun.,  holidays. 

Private  Golf  Courses:  Olympic  Club  Golf  Course  (Lakeside  Golf 
Club),  Skyline  Blvd.  Presidio  Golf  Club,  in  the  Presidio  (U.  S. 


GENERAL     INFORMATION         89 

Military  Reservation).  San  Francisco  Golf  and  Country  Club,  Juni- 
pero  Serra  Blvd. 

Gymnasiums:  Burke  Gymnasium,  2350  Geary  St.;  Y.M.C.A.,  22O 
Golden  Gate  Ave.;  Young  Men's  Institute,  50  Oak  St.;  Y.W.C.A., 
620  Sutter  St. 

Handball:     Burke  Gymnasium;  Y.M.C.A.,  220  Golden  Gate  Ave. 

Ice  Hockey:  Winterland,  Steiner  and  Post  Sts. ;  occasional  series  of 
games. 

Ice  Skating:  Sutro  Baths  and  Ice  Rink,  Point  Lobos  Ave.  near  Great 
Highway;  25^  afternoons,  35^  eve.  and  Sun.;  15$  extra  for  skates, 
children's  skates  free  afternoons  except  Sun.  Winterland,  Steiner  and 
Post  Sts.;  40^  mornings,  55^  eve.;  25^  extra  for  skates. 

Riding:  Bakers  Beach  and  the  Presidio,  Hunter's  Point,  John  Mc- 
Laren Park,  Lake  Merced,  and  Ocean  Beach.  Average  charge  for 
horses  $1.50  first  hour,  75^  each  additional  hour.  Riding  Clubs  and 
Academies.  Hunter's  Point  Stables,  415  Galvez  St.;  Bay  View  Stables, 
950  Palou  Ave.;  Paramount  Riding  Academy,  317  Broderick  St.; 
Roberts  Beach  Riding  Academy,  2232-481!!  Ave.;  St.  Francis  Riding 
School,  7Oi-7th  Ave.;  San  Francisco  Riding  School,  734  Stanyan  St.; 
Lake  Merced  Riding  Club,  Mission  Riding  Club,  Hollywood  Riding 
Stable,  in  Colma  (just  south  of  city  limits). 

Roller  Skating:  Ambassador,  Fillmore  and  Geary  Sts.;  open  2-5  p.m., 
7:30-10:30  p.m.;  adm. :  women  25^,  men  35^,  10^  less  for  men  bring- 
ing own  skates.  Burke  Gymnasium,  Sat.  and  Sun.  afternoons,  and 
every  evening;  adm.  25^.  Civic  Auditorium,  occasional  six-day  derbys. 

Rugby  Football:     Ewing  Field,  Masonic  Ave.  and  Anza  St. 

Sheet  and  Trap  Shooting:  Lake  Merced  Field,  Skyline  Blvd.;  com- 
petitions, usually  Sun. 

Softball:  Margaret  S.  Hayward  Playground,  Golden  Gate  Ave.  and 
Gough  Sts.  (night  play)  ;  Roberts  Field,  I5th  and  Valencia  Sts.  (night 
play). 

Swimming:  Municipal  Outdoor  Pools  (open  Apr.  i-Oct.  31)  :  Fleish- 
hacker  Pool,  Sloat  Blvd.  and  Great  Highway;  adm.  25^,  children  15$. 
Mission  Pool  (children  only),  I9th  and  Angelica  Sts.;  adm.  5^.  North 


9O        SAN     FRANCISCO 

Beach  Pool  (children  only),  Lombard  and  Mason  Sts. ;  adm.  5^.  Pri- 
vately Owned  Pools.  Crystal  Plunge  and  Baths,  Lombard  and  Taylor 
Sts.  Fairmont  Plunge,  950  Mason  St.  Sutro  Baths,  Point  Lobos  Ave. 
near  Great  Highway.  Y.M.C.A.,  220  Golden  Gate  Ave.  Y.W.C.A., 
620  Sutter  St.  Surf  Bathing.  Aquatic  Park,  foot  of  Polk  St.  Ocean 
Beach  (undertow  dangerous). 

Tennis:  Municipal  courts  at  44  recreation  centers.  Among  them  are : 
Clement  Courts  (4),  3Oth  Ave.  near  Clement  St.;  Crocker-Amazon 
Playground  (6),  Geneva  Ave.  and  Moscow  St.;  Funston  Playground 
(4),  Chestnut  and  Buchanan  Sts.;  Jefferson  Square  (4),  Golden  Gate 
Ave.  and  Gough  St.;  Julius  Kahn  Playground  (4),  Pacific  Ave.  be- 
tween Spruce  and  Laurel  Sts.;  Richmond  Tennis  Courts  (5),  8th  Ave. 
between  Clement  and  California  Sts.;  all  free.  Fine  Arts  Courts  (18), 
foot  of  Lyon  St.;  $1.00  per  hour  per  court,  day  or  night. 

Water  Polo:  Crystal  Plunge  and  Baths,  Lombard  and  Taylor  Sts.; 
Fairmont  Plunge,  950  Mason  St.;  Fleishhacker  Pool,  Sloat  Blvd.  and 
Great  Highway. 

Wrestling:  Civic  Auditorium,  Grove  and  Larkin  Sts.;  Y.M.C.A., 
Golden  Gate  Ave.  and  Leavenworth  St. 

Yachting:  Municipal  Yacht  Harbor,  Marina  Blvd.  between  Pierce 
and  Baker  Sts. 

CHURCHES 

(Only   representative   churches   of   most   denominations   are   listed   below.) 

Baptist:  Chinese  Baptist  Mission,  15  Waverly  PL;  First,  Waller  and 
Octavia  Sts. ;  First  Russian,  904  Rhode  Island  St. ;  Hamilton  Square, 
1975  Post  St. 

Buddhist:  Hongwanji  Buddhist  Mission  of  North  America,  1881  Pine 
St.;  Nichiren,  1860  Buchanan  St.;  Sokoji  Mission,  1881  Bush  St. 

Christian:     First,  Duboce  and  Noe  Sts.;  West  Side,  2520  Bush  St. 

Christian  Science:  First  Church,  1700  Franklin  St.;  Fifth  Church, 
450  O'Farrell  St.;  Seventh  Church,  940  Powell  St. 

Church  of  Jesus  Christ  of  Latter  Day  Saints:  Mission  Ward,  2668 
Mission  St.;  San  Francisco  Ward,  1649  Hayes  St. 

Congregational-Methodist:  Chinese,  21  Brenham  PL;  Grace  United 
Church  of  the  Mission,  21  st  and  Capp  Sts.;  Park  Presidio  United,  4319 
Geary  St. ;  Temple,  Post  and  Mason  Sts. 


GENERAL     INFORMATION         9! 

Episcopal:  Church  of  the  Advent,  261  Fell  St.;  Grace  Cathedral,  1122 
California  St.;  St.  Francis,  San  Fernando  Way  at  Ocean  Ave. ;  St. 
Luke's,  1750  Van  Ness  Ave.;  Seamen's  Church  Institute,  58  Clay  St.; 
Trinity,  Bush  and  Gough  Sts. 

Evangelical  and  Reformed:  Bethel,  2005  I5th  St.;  St.  John's  Com- 
munity, 2041  Larkin  St. 

Free  Methodist:     Free  Methodist,  985  Golden  Gate  Ave. 

Greek  Orthodox:  United  Greek  Church  of  the  Annunciation,  245 
Valencia  St.;  Holy  Trinity,  345~7th  St. 

Hebrew  Reformed:  Congregation  Emanu-El,  Arguello  Blvd.  and  Lake 
St. ;  Congregation  Sherith  Israel,  2010  Webster  St. 

Hebrew  Orthodox:  Congregation  Anshi  Sfard,  1140  Golden  Gate 
Ave.;  Congregation  Beth  Israel,  1839  Geary  St.;  Congregation  Ohabai 
Sholome,  35i-4th  Ave. 

Lutheran:  Anzar  Danish  Evangelical,  152  Church  St.;  Ebenezer 
Evangelical,  200  Dolores  St.;  First  English,  Geary  St.  between  Gough 
and  Octavia  Sts.;  First  Finnish  Evangelical,  I4th  and  Belcher  Sts.; 
Norwegian,  615  Dolores  St. 

Methodist:  First,  Larkin  and  Clay  Sts.;  Glide  Memorial,  322  Ellis 
St.;  Japanese,  1359  Pine  St.;  St.  John's  Italian,  756  Union  St.;  United 
German,  240  Page  St. 

Presbyterian:  Calvary,  2501  Fillmore  St.;  Chinese,  925  Stockton  St.; 
First,  Van  Ness  Ave.  and  Sacramento  St, ;  Mizpah  (Spanish),  725 
Folsom  St.;  Welsh,  449-14^  St. 

Roman  Catholic:  Church  of  the  Nativity  (Slavonian),  240  Fell  St.; 
Holy  Family  Chinese  Mission,  902  Stockton  St. ;  Mission  Dolores,  300 
Dolores  St.;  Notre  Dame  des  Victoires  (French),  566  Bush  St.; 
Nuestra  Senora  de  Guadalupe  (Spanish),  Broadway  and  Mason  Sts.; 
Old  St.  Mary's  (Paulist),  California  St.  and  Grant  Ave.;  St.  Anne's, 
810  Judah  St.;  St.  Boniface  (Franciscan),  151  Golden  Gate  Ave.;  St. 
Dominic's  (Dominican),  1901  Steiner  St.;  St.  Francis  of  Assisi,  620 
Vallejo  St.;  St.  Ignatius  (Jesuit),  Fulton  St.  and  Parker  Ave.;  St. 
Mary's  Cathedral,  Van  Ness  Ave.  and  O'Farrell  St.;  St.  Patrick's, 
750  Mission  St.;  SS.  Peter  and  Paul  (Italian),  650  Filbert  St. 

Russian  Orthodox:  Holy  Trinity  Cathedral,  Van  Ness  Ave.  and 
Green  St.;  Holy  Virgin,  Fulton  St.  near  Fillmore  St. 


92         SAN     FRANCISCO 

Salvation  Army :  Chinatown,  Waverly  PL  and  Sacramento  St. ;  San 
Francisco  Citadel,  95  McCoppin  St.;  Waterfront,  38  Commercial  St. 

Seventh  Day  Adventist:  Central,  California  and  Broderick  Sts. ;  Rus- 
sian, 878  Rhode  Island  St.;  Tabernacle  (Negro),  Bush  and  Baker  Sts. 

Unitarian:     First,  Franklin  and  Geary  Sts. 

United  Presbyterian:  First,  1455  Golden  Gate  Ave. ;  Stewart  Memo- 
rial (Second  United),  1076  Guerrero  St. 

Miscellaneous:  Apostolic  Faith  Mission,  749  Market  St.;  Art  of  Liv- 
ing, 609  Sutter  St.;  Bahai  Assembly,  620  Sutter  St.,  in  Y.W.C.A.; 
Bethel  Full  Gospel  Assembly,  3811  Mission  St.;  Church  of  Christ, 
302  Jules  Ave.;  Church  of  God,  3718  Army  St.;  Father  Divine  Peace 
Mission,  821  Pacific  Ave.;  First  Russian  Molakan,  841  Carolian  St.; 
Glad  Tidings  Temple,  1441  Ellis  St.;  "I  Am,"  133  Powell  St.;  Light- 
house Full  Gospel  Mission  (Negro),  1905  Sutter  St.;  New  Jerusalem 
(Swedenborgian),  2107  Lyon  St.;  Rosicrucian  Brotherhood  AMORC, 
1655  Post  St.;  Society  of  Progressive  Spiritualists,  2126  Sutter  St.; 
Sufi  Movement,  545  Sutter  St.;  Theosophical  Society,  414  Mason  St., 
Native  Sons  Bldg.;  Unity  Temple,  126  Post  St.;  Vedanta  Society, 
Webster  and  Filbert  Sts. ;  Volunteers  of  America,  23O-9th  St. 


San  Franciscans: 


"Nowhere  in  America  is  there  less  in  evidence  the  cold  theo- 
loffical  eye,  the  cautious  hand  withheld,  the  lifted  eyebrow,  the 
distrust  of  playfulness  .  .  " 

— GEORGE  WEST 


TO  SHARE  with  San  Franciscans  their  feeling  for  the  city's  elu- 
sive identity — that  prevailing  atmosphere  which  is  to  San  Fran- 
cisco what  dynamic  tempo  is  to  New  York,  what  Old  World 
charm  is  to  New  Orleans — a  visitor  does  best  to  wander  about  its  streets. 
The  city  has  a  look  of  incredible  venerability.  What  remains  of  the 
old  San  Francisco — the  roaring  boom  town  of  the  Argonauts,  the 
Barbary  Coast,  and  the  bonanza  days — consists  mainly  of  a  handful  of 
once  proud  business  buildings,  crumbling  and  obscure,  that  somehow 
belie  their  conversion  to  modern  usage  by  their  appearance  of  having 
withstood  the  passage  of  an  era  of  violence  and  romance.  Elsewhere, 
in  those  parts  of  the  city  which  survived  the  calamity  of  1906,  row  on 
row  of  Eastlake  wooden  houses — with  their  bay  windows,  corner  tur- 
rets, and  fantastic  scrollwork — are  reminders  of  a  fabulous  past.  But 
although  San  Francisco  is  more  profoundly  steeped  in  a  tempestuous 
history  than  any  other  American  city  of  its  age  of  development,  few 
landmarks  of  that  history  remain;  the  city,  for  the  most  part,  is  the 
city  that  rose  from  the  debris  of  earthquake  and  fire.  Even  the  rebuilt 
sections  have  a  look  of  weathered  age.  Nor  do  those  sprawling  resi- 
dential districts — real  estate  developments  of  more  recent  years — long 
escape  the  mellow  tarnish  of  wind  and  weather.  The  very  streets, 
cutting  over  hill  and  down  valley  with  resolute  forthrightness,  are  memo- 
rials to  the  men  of  the  Gold  Rush,  whose  roughshod  surveys  determined 
the  city's  main  features,  imposing  on  traffic  a  series  of  permanent  incon- 
veniences which  are  nevertheless  excused  for  the  dramatic  vistas  they 
provide.  And  the  old-fashioned  cable  cars  that  lurch  and  sway  with 
clanging  bell  up  and  down  their  precipitous  slopes  have  long  since 
brought  to  street  transportation  a  spirit  of.  almost  festive  novelty  which 
it  enjoys  probably  nowhere  else. 

A  tradition  which  has  behind  it  the  most  hectic  and  glamorous 
epoch  of  American  pioneering  is  still  the  factor  which  determines  much 
of  the  city's  enigmatic  charm  and  governs  many  of  those  political,  eco- 
nomic, and  cultural  phenomena  by  which  San  Franciscans  continue  to 
astonish  the  world.  Every  principle  of  American  democracy  has  been 
tested  here,  and  what  has  emerged  is  a  kind  of  collective  wisdom  by 

93 


94         SAN     FRANCISCO 

which  public  affairs  may  be  administered  with  a  minimum  of  inter- 
ference with  personal  liberty.  The  average  San  Franciscan  still  adheres 
to  the  pioneer  concept  of  government:  the  less  of  it  the  better.  His 
Argonaut  forbears  tried  to  do  without  it  altogether,  but  found  them- 
selves at  the  mercy  of  social  evils  which  nothing  short  of  a  harsh  popular 
tribunal  could  eradicate.  Their  subsequent  experience  with  municipal 
administrations,  reformist  and  otherwise,  led  them  finally  to  devise  a 
city  charter  of  such  elaborate  checks  and  balances  that  corruption  on 
a  grand  scale  was  forestalled.  By  resounding  majorities  bond  issues  of 
a  dubious  nature  are  voted  down,  but  not  appropriations  for  education, 
for  parks  and  playgrounds — or  for  expositions  and  bridges. 

What  is  supremely  important  to  San  Franciscans  is  that  they  be  let 
alone  to  think  and  act  as  they  please.  Here  the  accent  has  always  been 
on  living,  and  however  much  the  city  has  changed  in  other  ways,  1940 
sees  no  let-up  in  that  vigorous  search  for  experience  by  which  San 
Franciscans  have  been  enriching  their  lives  since  1850.  The  difference 
nowadays  lies  in  a  certain  refinement  of  critical  faculties  which  is  hav- 
ing its  effect  on  all  phases  of  the  city's  social  life.  The  crowds  who 
attend  concerts  and  art  exhibits,  movies  and  cabarets,  theatrical  per- 
formances and  the  opera  constitute  audiences  whose  verdict  is  some- 
thing to  be  respected.  What  San  Franciscans  like  they  applaud  with 
a  sensitive  and  overwhelming  enthusiasm;  what  they  believe  will  not 
please  them  they  simply  avoid.  Rather  than  have  a  mediocre  theater 
of  their  own,  they  still  attend  dramatic  performances  imported  from 
New  York.  The  cuisine  of  their  hotels  and  restaurants  is  still  re- 
nowned the  world  over;  and  every  San  Franciscan  is  something  of  art 
epicure.  The  thousand-and-one  treasures  of  the  city's  shops  find  a 
sophisticated  response  among  San  Franciscans  to  whom  luxuries  are, 
and  always  have  been,  aids  to  graceful  living  rather  than  the  accoutre- 
ments of  fashion.  All  sorts  of  exotic  importations,  brought  in  by  the 
city's  various  ethnic  groups,  contribute  to  the  fun  of  being  a  San  Fran- 
ciscan. This  universal  delight  in  just  being  alive  here,  which  has 
amazed  so  many  outsiders,  has  its  source  very  largely  in  a  certain  play- 
fulness of  spirit — a  natural  gusto — by  which  rich  and  poor  alike  are 
able  to  draw  from  some  simple  experience  (a  ride  on  a  cable  car  or  a 
dinner  at  Solari's)  a  sense  of  joie  de  vivre. 

The  Genteel  Tradition  was  never  able  to  take  root  here.  The 
virile  ethics  of  the  Argonauts  forbade  it.  San  Franciscans  have  always 
shown  an  almost  universal  disregard  for  the  haughtier  privileges  of  great 
wealth.  Nob  Hill  was  not  a  social  success:  the  city's  sense  of  humor, 
its  love  of  gaiety,  its  unfailing  urbanity  have  excluded  aristocratic  exclu- 
siveness.  Its  absentee  aristocracy  (descendants  of  the  bonanza  mil- 
lionaires who  have  retired  to  estates  down  the  Peninsula  or  in  the 
Marin  hills)  continue  to  make  "The  City"  the  hub  of  their  social 


SAN    FRANCISCANS:    1940      95 

whirl;  but  San  Francisco  itself  has  no  recognizable  "four  hundred." 
The  city  has  not  a  single  public  place  where  formal  attire  is  obligatory  ; 
almost  the  only  social  requirements  are  that  one  hold  one's  liquor  well 
and  behave  like  a  gentleman — or  a  lady.  The  predominance  of  highly 
skilled  workers,  professional  people,  and  technicians  in  its  population — 
inevitable  in  a  city  which  is  much  more  a  commercial  than  an  industrial 
center — determines  the  social  standard,  outweighing  even  the  labor 
movement's  more  highly  publicized  influence.  But  the  middle-class 
influence  is  modified,  not  only  by  labor's  strength,  but  also  by  the  effects 
of  the  city's  polyglot  mixture  of  nationalities — its  vast  number  of  people 
who  have  come  from  every  country  under  the  sun,  and  while  becoming 
citizens  in  all  respects,  have  retained  nonetheless  the  customs  of  their 
homelands. 

The  best  way  to  insult  a  San  Franciscan  is  to  slap  him  on  the  back. 
Whatever  violates  his  natural  urbanity  receives  a  chilly  response.  Like 
his  Argonaut  predecessors  he  continues  to  form  friendships  and  choose 
business  associates  in  the  "partner"  tradition  of  the  Gold  Rush.  This 
delicate  social  process,  which  has  repelled  countless  newcomers,  has 
resulted  in  a  population  for  whom  individuality  is  the  keynote;  and 
those  of  a  more  gregarious  nature  quickly  retire  to  places  where  their 
back-slapping  propensities  will  be  appreciated.  Despite  this  unkind  form 
of  social  selectivity,  San  Francisco  is  constantly  acquiring  new  citizens 
from  every  state  of  the  Union  and  from  abroad.  Those  who  remain 
partake  inevitably  of  the  city's  social  tradition;  and  so  profoundly  will 
it  affect  them  that,  though  they  may  journey  to  the  ends  of  the  earth, 
this  place  will  always  be  home  to  them.  The  citizen  of  San  Francisco 
is  a  citizen  of  the  world. 


The  City*  s  Growth 

"The  Yankees  are  a  wonderful  people,  wonderful.  Wherever 
they  go  they  make  improvements.  If  they  were  to  emigrate  in 
larffe  numbers  to.  hell  itself,  they  would  somehow  manage  to 
change  the  climate." 

— GENERAL  MARIANO  G.  VALLEJO   (to  President  Lincoln). 


A'  THE  crossroads  of  the  great  migrations  of  antiquity  arose  such 
cities  as  that  magical  pandemonium  the  Argonauts  inhabited: 
Nineveh,  Babylon,  and  Jericho.    Although  the  sin  and  splendor 
of  the  bonanza  epoch  have  long  since  given  way  to  the  iron  age  of 
corporate  industrialism,  the  successors  of  the  Argonauts  have  striven 
mightily  to  retain  their  heritage  of  hilarious  action.     Somehow  it  is  all 
here,  chastened  and  dispersed,   but  no  less  explosive  than  in  the  era 
before  "The  Fire":  the  vigorous  delight  in  living,  the  susceptibility  to 
tremendous  projects,  the  vengeful  spirit  of  the  Vigilantes,  the  profound 
sophistication  and  the  capacity  for  Homeric  laughter. 

THE  VILLAGE  OF  YERBA  BUENA  (1835-1848) 

Dusty,  fleabitten  little  Yerba  Buena  was  in  1835  an  insignificant 
outpost  long  frequented  by  roving  seafarers,  Russians,  and  a  few  non- 
descript traders  who  smelled  of  hides  and  tallow.  But  for  four  redwood 
posts  covered  with  a  ship's  foresail  which  De  Haro's  harbormaster, 
William  Antonio  Richardson,  erected  on  "La  Calle"  in  1835,  San  Fran- 
cisco's original  site  was  little  more  than  a  waste  of  sand  and  chaparral 
sloping  down  to  a  beach  and  a  small  lagoon.  El  Parage  de  Yerba 
Buena  (The  Little  Valley  of  the  Good  Herb)  it  had  been  named  long 
before,  because  of  the  aromatic  vine  (Micromeria  Chamissonis)  found 
in  the  underbrush  there. 

Richardson,  young  master  mariner  who  had  deserted  the  British 
whaler  Orion  in  1822,  was  appointed  Captain  of  the  Port  of  San  Fran- 
cisco by  Governor  Pablo  Vicente  de  Sola  in  1835  when  the  Bay  was 
declared  a  port  of  entry.  Stocking  his  huge  tent  with  wheat,  hides, 
and  vegetables,  trader  Richardson  soon  supplemented  his  official  duties 
by  raising  two  sunken  schooners  which  he  put  into  service  transporting 
rancho  products  from  one  end  of  the  Bay  to  the  other  at  somewhat 
exorbitant  rates. 

Democratic  self-government,  of  the  bureaucratic  sort  decreed  by  the 
Mexican  Republic,  came  to  Yerba  Buena  before  the  town  itself  arrived. 
Citizens  of  the  partido  (civil  district)  of  San  Francisco,  on  Governor 

96 


THE     CITY     S     GROWTH         97 

Jose  Figueroa's  orders,  assembled  in  the  Presidio  on  December  7,  1834 
to  choose  electors  for  the  ayuntamiento  (district  council).  On  the  fol- 
lowing Sunday  Don  Francisco  de  Haro  was  elected  to  the  ayuntamiento 
as  alcalde  for  the  projected  pueblo  of  Yerba  Buena.  As  a  gesture, 
toward  establishing  the  town,  Don  Francisco  marked  out  on  the  ground, 
from  the  site  of  Yerba  Buena  to  the  Presidio,  La  Calle  de  la  Fundacion 
(Foundation  Street)  and  retired  thereafter  to  Mission  Dolores  to  look 
after  private  matters. 

Richardson,  on  July  I,  1836,  suddenly  acquired  a  neighbor  as  re- 
sourceful as  himself — one  equipped  to  do  business  in  really  sumptuous 
style.  Jacob  Primer  Leese,  Ohio-born  partner  in  a  Monterey  mercan- 
tile firm,  sailed  into  the  cove  aboard  the  barque  Don  Quixote  with  a 
$12,000  cargo  of  merchandise,  a  six-piece  orchestra,  and  enough  lumber 
to  erect  a  mansion.  By  July  4,  on  a  lot  adjoining  Richardson's  prop- 
erty, the  amazing  Mr.  Leese  had  thrown  up  a  frame  house  60  feet 
long,  and  25  feet  wide.  Borrowing  two  six-pounders  from  the  Presidio 
and  decking  his  domestic  barn  with  bunting  from  ships  in  the  cove, 
Leese  summoned  all  leading  Mexican  families  north  of  the  Bay  to  an 
Independence  Day  celebration — which  lasted  two  days  and  a  night. 

Among  the  guests  at  Leese's  patriotic  housewarming  had  been  Cap- 
tain Jean  Jacques  Vioget,  of  the  Peruvian  brig  Delmira,  who  was  also 
a  surveyor  and  a  lively  man  with  a  fiddle.  In  the  autumn  of  1839  this 
versatile  Swiss  was  commissioned  by  Alcalde  de  Haro  to  make  the  first 
survey  of  Yerba  Buena.  By  1840  on  the  west  side  of  Montgomery 
Street,  between  Clay  and  Sacramento  Streets,  next  door  to  the  new 
Hudson's  Bay  Company's  post  and  saloon  he  was  serving  ship's  captains, 
supercargoes,  merchants,  and  clerks  in  a  tavern. 

Thirty  families,  in  1841,  comprised  the  village  population.  The 
most  impressive  house  was  that  of  Nathan  Spear,  who  was  running  the 
Bay  area's  only  flour  mill.  Jacob  Leese  had  now  transferred  his  busi- 
ness to  Sonoma.  Richardson  was  living  across  the  Bay  on  his  huge 
Rancho  Saucelito,  where  he  continued  to  collect  customs  and  pocket  the 
funds,  claiming  that  his  salary  as  harbor  master  was  not  paid  and  that 
he  had  no  other  source  of  income. 

Governor  Juan  B.  Alvarado's  decrees,  restricting  trade  with  for- 
eigners after  1841,  drove  the  American  whalers  from  San  Francisco  Bay 
to  a  new  headquarters  in  the  Sandwich  Islands;  and  by  1844,  outrivaled 
by  the  port  of  Honolulu,  Yerba  Buena  had  fallen  back  into  obscurity. 
Though  that  same  year  saw  the  election  of  its  first  American-born 
alcalde,  William  Sturges  Hinckley,  the  village  continued  to  languish. 

The  mock-heroics  of  "Pathfinder"  John  Charles  Fremont's  raid  on 
the  Castillo  de  San  Joaquin  were  Yerba  Buena's  first  warning  of  im- 
pending change.  Slipping  over  from  Sausalito  on  July  I,  1846,  the 
Yankee  adventurer  spiked  the  dismantled  guns  of  the  old  fort.  ("So  far 


98         SAN     FRANCISCO 

as  can  be  known,"  says  Hubert  Howe  Bancroft,  "not  one  of  the  ten 
cannons  offered  the  slightest  resistance.")  Thereafter,  for  a  week,  the 
habitues  of  Vioget's  hangout  gave  themselves  up  to  warlike  gossip,  for- 
getting to  play  billiards. 

Suddenly,  on  July  9,  the  U.S.S.  Portsmouth  quietly  dropped  anchor 
in  Yerba  Buena's  cove.  The  villagers — unaware  of  Commodore  Sloat's 
flotilla  off  Monterey — were  disturbed  at  breakfast  by  a  roll  of  drums 
and  a  flurry  of  fifes.  When  they  rushed  to  the  Plaza,  Captain  John  B. 
Montgomery's  70  sailors  and  marines  were  running  up  the  Stars  and 
Stripes  on  Mexico's  flagpole  atop  the  adobe  Custom  House.  Down  in 
the  cove  the  Portsmouth's  21 -gun  salute  rumbled  into  history  across  San 
Francisco  Bay. 

Captain  Montgomery  on  August  26  appointed  Lieutenant  Washing- 
ton Allen  Bartlett  first  alcalde  of  Yerba  Buena  under  the  American 
flag.  On  September  15  Bartlett  was  confirmed  in  office  by  popular  vote, 
with  the  same  powers  enjoyed  by  his  Mexican  predecessors.  His  first 
important  decree  ordered  revision  of  Vioget's  survey,  which  had  served 
to  locate  building  lots  since  1839.  Jasper  O'Farrell,  civil  engineer  em- 
ployed for  the  job,  discovered  in  1847  tnat  the  Swiss  tavern-keeper's 
streets  intersected  at  two  and  a  half  degrees  from  a  right  angle.  His 
prompt  correction  of  this  error,  known  as  "O'Farrell's  Swing,"  left 
building  frontage  and  vacant  lots  projecting  somewhat  beyond  the 
theoretically  proper  lines  of  nonexistent  curbstones. 

On  the  last  day  of  July  1846,  Samuel  Brannan,  the  bombastic  Mor- 
mon Elder,  sailed  in  through  the  Golden  Gate  aboard  the  Brooklyn 
with  his  well-armed  flock  of  Latter-day  Saints,  a  hold  crammed  with 
farmer's  tools,  two  flour  mills,  and  a  printing  press.  The  Mormons 
provided  all  that  was  necessary  to  pull  Yerba  Buena  out  of  its  rut  once 
more.  Within  a  year  that  place  which  had  baffled  the  urbane  and 
mystical  Spaniards  for  three-quarters  of  a  century  would  appear  on  the 
map  of  Alta  California.  Two  years  later  the  name  of  San  Francisco 
would  be  blazoned  in  gold  on  the  map  of  the  world. 

CAPITAL  OF  THE  GOLD  COAST  (1848-1856) 

"To  this  Gate  I  gave  the  name  of  'Chrysopylae'  or  Golden  Gate  for 
the  same  reason  that  the  harbor  of  Byzantium  was  called  'Chrysoceras,' 
or  Golden  Horn."  Thus  Fremont,  after  gazing  at  the  Bay's  entrance 
from  a  Contra  Costa  peak,  adorned  his  report  to  the  United  States 
Congress  with  an  erudite  flourish.  Little  did  he  suspect  how  literal 
was  to  be  the  name  he  had  given  to  that  famous  strait. 

When  Brannan's  Mormon  battalion  landed  at  Yerba  Buena  in  the 
summer  of  1846,  the  village  had  50  or  60  inhabitants.  Sam's  passengers 
and  crew  swelled  its  population  by  nearly  six-fold.  The  Plaza,  newly 


THE     CITYS     GROWTH         99 

named  Portsmouth  Square,  already  had  its  fringe  of  gambling  houses,  a 
hotel  and  a  saloon,  and  its  nucleus  of  rough  characters. 

Brannan's  bull-throated  oratory  and  domineering  personality  enabled 
him  to  assume  leadership  of  the  town's  affairs.  Within  a  year  he  had 
performed  the  first  marriage  and  preached  the  first  sermon  under  Amer- 
ican rule,  seen  to  the  holding  of  the  first  jury  trial,  established  the  first 
newspaper,  and  sunk  all  his  money  in  Yerba  Buena  real  estate.  In  his 
California  Star,  on  January  30,  1847,  appeared  Alcalde  Bartlett's  ordi- 
nance which  cut  the  ground  from  under  the  scheme  of  Thomas  Larkia 
and  General  Vallejo  to  adopt  the  name  "San  Francisco"  for  a  rival 
townsite  on  Carquinez  Strait.  "It  is  Hereby  Ordained,"  said  the 
ordinance's  clinching  paragraph,  "that  the  name  of  San  Francisco  shall 
hereafter  be  used  in  all  official  communications  and  public  documents,, 
or  records  appertaining  to  the  town  [of  Yerba  Buena]." 

Whatever  Sam  Brannan's  original  intentions — ostensibly  he  had 
brought  his  cargo  of  Saints  around  Cape  Horn  to  establish  for  Brigham. 
Young  a  Mormon  commonwealth  in  California — he  soon  fell  somewhat 
from  grace  with  his  followers — and  with  Alcalde  Bartlett.  The  fiery 
Elder  was  too  deeply  involved  financially,  however,  to  move  on  to- 
greener  pastures;  and  though  his  paper's  editor  had  been  rolled  down 
Portsmouth  Square  in  a  barrel  for  lukewarm  local  patriotism,  Sam 
supported  a  campaign  for  public  education  which  resulted  in  establish- 
ment of  San  Francisco's  first  school — a  frame  house  on  Portsmouth 
Square  which  also  served  successively  as  town-hall,  church,  and  jail. 
His  own  contribution  to  the  spirit  of  progress  was  a  special  edition  of 
the  Star  of  which  2,000  copies,  carried  by  horse-borne  courier,  boosted 
California  all  the  way  to  the  Mississippi  Valley. 

The  arrival,  in  the  spring  of  1847,  of  Colonel  J.  D.  Stevenson's- 
disbanded  regiment  of  New  York  volunteers  in  the  Mexican  War — 
"Bowery  Boys"  schooled  in  the  spread-eagle  Americanism  of  New 
York's  Tammany  Hall — so  inspired  Sam  Brannan  with  faith  in  Cali- 
fornia's future  that  he  decided  to  strike  out  eastward,  meet  Brigham 
Young's  stranded  pilgrims,  and  lead  them  into  the  Promised  Land. 
This  the  patriarchal  Brigham  had  already  found  in  Salt  Lake  Valley, 
however,  and  Sam  had  to  retrace  his  steps  to  California.  Angry  and 
disgusted,  he  forgot  about  San  Francisco  and  decided,  in  the  autumn  of 
1847,  to  set  up  a  store  at  Sutter's  Fort  and  help  the  lord  of  New 
Helvetia  build  a  sawmill  on  the  south  fork  of  the  American  River  near 
the  present  site  of  Coloma.  When  gold  was  discovered  in  Sutter's- 
millrace  on  January  24,  1848,  Elder  Sam  Brannan  re-assumed  his 
authority  over  Mormon  miners  in  the  vicinity  and  began  collecting  "the 
Lord's  tithes"  from  them.  To  the  apostle  sent  to  him  to  claim  this  illicit 
revenue  Sam  retorted:  "You  go  back  and  tell  Brigham  that  I'll  give  up- 


SUN 


the  Lord's  money  when  he  gives  me  |\FC£  V*  s*gne<OR^Mf  Lord,  and 
no  sooner!" 

Meanwhile,  in  San  Francisco,  Brannan's  own  newspaper  was  ridicul- 
ing persistent  rumors  of  rich  gold  strikes  in  the  Sierra  foothills.  Sud- 
denly the  Stars  owner  himself  rushed  into  town  with  a  whisky  flask  full 
of  the  yellow  flakes  and  confounded  loiterers  in  Portsmouth  Square  with 
yells  of.  "Gold!  Gold!  Gold  from  the  American  River!"  Of  the 
town's  900  inhabitants,  only  seven  were  left  behind  when  the  renegade 
Mormon  with  the  bland  face  and  side-whiskers  led  the  first  rush  to  the 
diggings. 

Two  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  dollars  in  gold  dust  came  down 
the  Sacramento  during  June  and  July  of  1848.  When  news  of  this 
reached  Mexican  and  South  American  ports  via  vessels  from  Honolulu, 
fortune-hunters  in  thousands  swarmed  aboard  ships  bound  up  the  Coast. 
By  New  Year's  Day,  1849,  6,000  miners  were  at  the  diggings.  San 
Francisco  was  a  cantonment  of  tents  with  a  population  of  2,000  excited 
transients. 

On  February  28,  1849,  the  California,  first  steamship  to  sail  through 
the  Golden  Gate,  arrived  with  her  hold  packed  with  gold-seekers  from 
New  Orleans  taken  on  at  Panama  and  her  hurricane  deck  swarming 
with  Peruvians,  Chilenos  and  Mexicans.  Greeted  by  San  Franciscans 
with  wild  cheering  and  by  five  American  warships  in  the  Bay  with 
broadside  salutes,  the  Pacific  Mail  steamer  was  promptly  deserted  both 
by  passengers  and  crew  in  their  headlong  flight  to  the  mines. 

Already  embroiled  in  the  slavery  issue,  the  Federal  government 
virtually  left  California  to  its  own  devices  for  the  next  four  years.  The 
ambiguous  powers  of  San  Francisco's  ayuntamiento  were  openly  flouted 
by  the  inrush  of  fortune-hunters.  Many  of  the  town's  merchants,  who 
had  been  quietly  getting  rich,  soon  found  themselves  at  the  mercy  of  a 
lawless  mob.  Sam  Brannan  took  the  chaotic  situation  in  his  stride:  he 
returned  promptly  and  did  a  thriving  business  selling  tacks,  canvas,  and 
redwood  scantlings  to  the  tent-dwellers  who  spread  out  over  the  sand- 
hills "like  the  camp  of  an  army." 

The  remnants  of  Colonel  Stevenson's  regiment  soon  abandoned  the 
hard  toil  of  the  placers  and  returned  to  the  city,  there  to  style  themselves 
Regulators  and  enter  the  employ  of  shipowners  as  a  police  force  to  track 
down  runaway  sailors.  In  outlandish  uniforms,  with  fiddle,  fife,  and 
drum,  they  soon  earned  the  name  "Hounds"  for  their  penchant  for 
"hounding"  Mexicans,  Peruvians,  and  others  of  darker  skin  to  whom 
they  denied  all  rights  in  this  land  "preserved  by  nature  for  Americans 
only,  who  possess  noble  hearts."  On  the  night  of  July  15,  1849,  these 
hoodlums  raided  the  Chilean  quarter;  in  that  scene  of  pillage  and  gen- 
eral mayhem,  one  woman  was  murdered  and  a  Hound  stabbed  with  a 
bowie  knife.  ••-•. 


THE     CITY'S     GROWTH       IOI 

Alcalde  T.  M.  Leavenworth,  having  neither  the  legal  power  nor 
the  courage  to  make  an  arrest,  let  the  incident  pass;  but  the  town's 
leading  merchants  had  had  enough  of  lawlessness.  Led  by  Sam  Bran- 
nan,  who  stood  hurling  invective  at  the  Hounds  from  the  rooftop  of  the 
alcalde  s  office  in  Portsmouth  Square,  San  Francisco's  first  forces  of  law 
and  order  were  mobilized.  Leavenworth  himself  was  compelled  to 
give  them  some  kind  of  legal  sanction.  By  sunset  19  of  the  Hounds  had 
been  run  down.  Next  day  a  grand  jury  indicted  all  19  for  conspiracy 
"to  commit  riot,  rape,  and  murder."  None  of  these  proceedings,  of 
course,  had  any  legal  status  in  California.  The  verdict  was  banishment 
from  the  territory,  but  although  the  Hounds  disbanded — and  the  law- 
and-order  men  also — the  convicted  men  could  not  be  deported ;  and  San 
Francisco's  underworld  continued  to  wage  a  stealthy  warfare  against 
the  whole  community. 

W.  T.  "War-Is-Hell"  Sherman  presents  in  his  Memoirs  a  graphic 
picture  of  the  riotous  Gold  Rush  metropolis  during  the  wet  winter  of 
1849  and  the  spring  of  1850:  "Montgomery  Street  had  been  filled  up 
with  brush  and  clay  and  I  always  dreaded  to  ride  on  horseback  along 
it.  ...  The  rider  was  likely  to  be  thrown  and  drowned  in  the  mud." 
Kearny  Street  was  impassable,  "not  even  jackassable,"  except  where  it 
was  paved  for  25  yards  with  sacks  of  flour  and  bran,  tobacco,  stoves, 
and  a  piano.  Drunks,  known  to  stumble  into  the  mire,  would  suffocate 
before  rescue  could  arrive. 

Portsmouth  Square,  ringed  round  on  three  sides  by  saloons  and  gam- 
bling dens,  was  a  bedlam  that  roared  night  and  day.  Except  for  the 
city's  merchants  and  a  few  other  stationary  inhabitants,  the  population 
was  forever  shuttling  back  and  forth  between  the  city  and  the  gold 
camps.  In  the  period  from  Christmas  Eve,  1849,  to  June  22,  1851,  San 
Francisco's  ramshackle  architecture  was  leveled  by  six  successive  fires. 
Not  until  after  the  fifth  of  these  conflagrations  did  responsible  citizens 
manage  to  lay  charges  of  incendiarism  against  the  Hounds'  successors, 
the  Sydney  Ducks. 

On  June  9,  1851,  the  first  Vigilance  Committee  was  organized  in 
the  office  of  Sam  Brannan,  who  became  its  president.  Two  days  later, 
for  the  theft  of  a  small  safe,  John  Jenkins  swung  in  the  moonlight  from 
a  gable  of  the  old  Customhouse  on  Porthmouth  Square.  By  July  i  the 
Vigilantes  were  so  well  organized  that  the  city's  homicide  rate — which 
nevertheless  was  to  include  1,000  murders  between  1849  and  1856 — 
declined  temporarily.  Among  the  reputable  element,  however,  duels 
were  common  occurrences.  Streets  and  gambling  resorts  were  almost 
daily  the  scenes  of  casual  gunfire. 

On  assuming  office  in  1850  Mayor  John  W.  Geary  had  warned  the 
City  Council  that  ".  .  .  we  are  without  a  dollar  in  the  public  treasury, 
and  it  is  to  be  feared  the  city  is  greatly  in  debt.  ...  In  short,  you  are 


IO2      SAN     FRANCISCO 

without  a  single  requisite  ...  for  the  protection  of  property,  or  for 
the  maintenance  of  order."  The  warning  had  little  effect.  When  the 
public  debt  had  risen  to  $840,000,  it  was  repudiated.  Municipal  offi- 
cials, honest  and  otherwise,  continued  to  be  at  the  mercy  of  the  Barbary 
Coast  machine  which  put  them  in  office.  Sam  Brannan  could  drum  up 
a  lynching  as  well  as  any  rabble-rouser,  but  he  was  no  match  for  those 
Tammany  politicians  whose  wardheelers  stuffed  ballot  boxes,  paid  out 
patronage  and  bribes,  and  terrorized  voters  at  the  polls.  The  influx  of 
ticket-of-leave  men — ex-convicts  from  Australia  locally  known  as  Sydney 
Ducks — had  brought  on  a  crime  wave  of-  alarming  violence. 

The  rich  yield  of  the  placers  began  to  run  out  in  1854.  San  Fran- 
cisco went  as  wild  in  financial  panic  as  it  had  been  amid  the  inflation 
after  1849.  One  of  the  victims  of  the  depression,  James  King  of 
William,  vented  his  chagrin  over  bad  luck  on  the  city's  corrupt  politi- 
cians through  editorials  in  a  newspaper  he  established  for  the  purpose. 
For  his  scalping  pen,  the  editor  of  the  Evening  Bulletin  was  shot  down 
one  day  on  Montgomery  Street  by  city  supervisor  James  P.  Casey. 

Already  incensed  by  the  failure  of  a  jury  to  convict  the  slayer  of 
U.  S.  Marshal  William  H.  Richardson — one  Charles  Cora,  a  gambler, 
who  had  resented  Richardson's  public  snubbing  of  his  bagnio-keeping 
mistress — those  San  Franciscans  grown  weary  of  lawless  ways  quietly 
formed  the  second  Vigilance  Committee.  Under  the  leadership  of  mer- 
chant William  T.  Coleman  it  went  about  its  business  with  less  fanfare, 
but  more  efficiency,  than  the  Committee  of  1851.  Upon  the  day  of 
James  King  of  William's  funeral,  the  bodies  of  Cora  and  Casey  dangled 
from  second-story  windows  of  a  building  on  Sacramento  Street,  later 
known  as  Fort  Gunnybags. 

Since  California's  admission  to  the  Union  in  1850  the  new  State  had 
made  some  progress  toward  stable  government.  However,  the  militia 
recruited  in  San  Francisco  on  orders  from  the  governor  to  take  over  the 
extra-legal  power  of  the  Vigilance  Committee  was  defied  with  armed 
resistance.  By  1856  the  Vigilantes  had  enrolled  most  of  W.  T.  Sher- 
man's militiamen  within  their  ranks.  At  the  height  of  its  power  the 
Committee  numbered  9,000  men :  a  military  body  composed  of  infantry, 
artillery,  and  cavalry  detachments.  After  an  altercation  with  one  of  its 
officers  a  State  Supreme  Court  judge,  David  S.  Terry,  was  held  in  Fort 
Gunnybags,  pending  recovery  of  the  victim  of  his  bowie  knife.  During 
the  life  of  the  committee,  there  had  been  four  executions,  and  some  30 
undesirables  had  been  banished  from  the  State. 

On  August  1 8,  1856,  the  Vigilance  Committee  disbanded  volun- 
tarily. Respect  for  law  and  order,  which  a  corrupt  government  had 
failed  to  inspire,  was  thus  established  by  a  popular  instrument  without 
legal  authority.  From  the  work  of  this  "lawless"  body  sprang  the 
People's  Party  which  swept  the  municipal  election  of  1857  mt<>  tne 


THE     CITY    «     GROWTH       IO3 

hands  of  men  for  whom  honesty,  aside  from  being  the  best  policy,  was  a 
proviso  of  health  and  longevity. 


BONANZA   (1856-1875) 

San  Francisco's  population  of  50,000 — at  no  time  during  the  i85o's 
did  it  exceed  this  figure — had  been  perched  on  the  bandwagon  of  the 
Gold  Rush  for  five  miraculous  years.  The  roulette  wheel  was  the 
symbol  of  its  whole  economy.  When  the  stream  of  yellow  metal  ceased 
to  pour  down  upon  the  town,  however,  the  stakes  of  gamblers  and 
speculators  alike  vanished  into  thin  air.  The  crash  dealt  the  relatively 
small,  highly  organized  community  a  stunning  blow.  Inbound  shipping 
decreased  by  half  from  1853  to  1857;  liabilities  of  bankrupt  firms 
totaled  more  than  $8,000,000.  Nearly  half  the  city's  population  was 
unemployed. 

In  February  and  March  of  1855  Stockton  and  Los  Angeles  papers 
printed  a  number  of  sensational  letters  giving  details  of  a  purported  rich 
strike  on  the  Kern  River.  Thousands  of  people  abandoned  rich  claims 
and  steady  employment  in  the  rush  to  the  new  El  Dorado.  Additional 
thousands  were  preparing  to  follow  when  letters  from  the  area  brought 
the  discouraging  news  that  there  was  not  work  for  more  than  100  men. 
The  unemployment  burden  was  considerably  lightened  in  1858,  how- 
ever, when  towards  the  end  of  summer,  18,000  men  joined  in  a  wild 
exodus  to  British  Columbia's  newly  discovered  Frazier  River  mines. 
With  recovery  came  increased  commercial  activity;  and  demands  from 
growing  agricultural  districts  for  articles  of  domestic  and  foreign  manu- 
facture laid  the  foundation  of  San  Francisco's  industrial  prosperity. 
More  than  $4,000,000  a  month  in  gold,  besides,  was  being  shipped  out 
through  the  Golden  Gate  before  the  beginning  of  1859. 

The  national  controversy  over  slavery  was  rapidly  dividing  Cali- 
fornians  into  Secessionists  and  patriots  loyal  to  the  Union.  As  the 
"irreconcilable  conflict"  approached  a  crisis,  it  became  apparent  that  the 
State  might  join  the  Southern  cause.  Among  San  Franciscans  this 
political  cleavage  was  the  occasion  for  personal  feuds  in  which  damaging 
accusations  and  unprintable  remarks  led  logically  to  "shooting  it  out." 
Consequently  when  California's  champion  against  slavery  in  the  United 
States  Senate,  David  C.  Broderick,  cast  aspersions  upon  Secessionist 
Judge  David  S.  Terry,  chief  justice  of  the  State  Supreme  Court,  the 
latter  promptly  challenged  the  somber-faced  Senator  to  a  duel.  Brod- 
erick was  killed;  30,000  San  Franciscans  attended  his  funeral;  Terry 
was  ostracized,  and  the  Senator's  martyrdom  crystallized  Union  senti- 
ment among  the  city's  predominantly  Yankee  population. 

Abraham  Lincoln's  election  to  the  Presidency  was  acclaimed  by  San 
Francisco's  Union  sympathizers  with  wild  demonstrations  in  the  streets. 


IO4      SAN     FRANCISCO 

Huge  mass  meetings  were  addressed  by  Senator  Edward  Baker  and 
Unitarian  minister  Thomas  Starr  King,  both  of  whom  toured  the  State 
for  the  Union  cause.  Brigadier-General  Albert  Sidney  Johnston,  in 
command  of  the  Presidio  and  the  Department  of  the  Pacific,  was  dis- 
placed by  General  E.  V.  Sumner  following  charges  that  Johnston  was 
in  league  with  Senator  William  M.  Gwin  to  turn  over  California's 
armed  forces  to  the  Confederacy.  Sumner's  arrest  of  Gwin  left  the 
State's  Secessionists  without  leadership,  and  their  conspiracy  collapsed. 

With  California  won  for  the  North,  San  Francisco  proceeded  to 
develop  its  commerce  and  industry,  in  virtual  isolation  from  the  War 
between  the  States.  Its  most  substantial  contribution  to  the  Union  cause 
was  the  $566,790.66  in  gold  sent  to  the  United  States  Sanitary  Com- 
mission for  aid  to  the  sick  and  wounded  among  the  Northern  troops. 

The  slump  in  gold  production  after  1860  found  compensation  in  the 
growth  of  new  industries  and  increasing  trade.  The  Nation's  treaty 
with  the  Hawaiian  Islands,  permitting  free  entry  of  raw  sugar,  resulted 
in  the  establishment  of  San  Francisco's  first  refinery.  The  development 
of  transportation  brought  increasing  prosperity  to  sawmills,  foundries, 
and  other  enterprises  spreading  rapidly  over  the  Bay  area.  On  October 
24,  1 86 1,  San  Francisco  and  New  York  were  connected  by  telegraph. 
That  same  year  a  young  engineer,  Theodore  Dehone  Judah,  finally 
convinced  a  small  group  of  businessmen  that  a  railroad  could  be  built 
across  the  Sierra  Nevada. 

The  possibility  of  transporting  the  fabulous  silver  deposits  of 
Nevada's  Comstock  Lode  to  San  Francisco  by  rail  inspired  even  the 
least  imaginative  of  the  city's  entrepreneurs.  Charles  Crocker,  Mark 
Hopkins,  Leland  Stanford,  and  Collis  P.  Huntington — Sacramento 
merchants  with  a  bare  $50,000  among  them — saw  in  Judah's  plan  their 
chance  to  corner  for  themselves  the  wealth  of  California's  growing 
commerce.  Prototypes  of  San  Francisco's  later  financial  giants,  the 
predestined  "Big  Four"  organized  the  Central  Pacific  Company  of  Cali- 
fornia on  June  28,  1861.  President  Lincoln's  signing  of  the  Pacific 
Railroad  Bill  a  year  later  was  the  signal  for  the  eight-year  race  between 
the  Central  and  the  Union  Pacific  to  join  the  rails  of  the  Nation's  first 
transcontinental  railroad. 

The  completion  of  this  epical  undertaking  in  1869,  though  it  meant 
the  end  of  San  Francisco's  splendid  isolation  from  the  national  economy, 
was  no  occasion  for  jubilance.  The  "terrible  seventies"  were  imme- 
diately ahead.  A  goodly  portion  of  the  65,ooo-odd  Chinese  coolies 
whom  Crocker  and  his  associates  had  imported  to  build  the  Central 
Pacific's  roadbed  came  drifting  back  into  the  city  to  compete  with  job- 
less whites.  Gold  production  in  the  State's  placer  mines,  over  $44,000,- 
ooo  annually  until  1860,  had  shrunk  by  1870  to  $15,000,000;  and 
unemployment  once  more  became  a  source  of  unrest  that  flared  up  with 


THE    CITY'S    GROWTH     io5 

increasing  violence.  The  titanic  struggle  between  the  Bank  of  Cali- 
fornia and  its  rivals  in  Virginia  City  was  a  speculator's  nightmare  in 
which  the  brokerage  firms  of  Leidesdorff  Street  were  mobbed  by  suckers 
rich  and  poor  who  sank  savings  and  borrowed  funds  in  "California" 
and  "Consolidated  Virginia."  Not  until  the  crash  of  the  Bank  of 
California  in  August,  1875,  did  the  gambling  frenzy  reminiscent  of  the 
Gold  Rush  fitfully  subside.  When  by  1877  the  nightmare  was  over  at 
last,  carefree  San  Francisco's  "Golden  Age"  was  irretrievably  gone. 

With  the  advent  of  hard  times  the  labor  unions,  into  which  practi- 
cally every  trade  in  the  city  had  been  organized  during  the  decade  after 
1865,  carried  their  powerful  economic  struggles  into  the  political  field. 
The  rising  Workingmen's  Party  began  holding  great  mass  meetings 
where  an  Irish  drayman,  Dennis  Kearney,  delivered  inflammatory 
harangues  which  soon  made  Elm  the  leader  of  a  widespread  movement 
to  exclude  the  Chinese  from  industries  employing  white  labor.  By 
1879,  however,  the  Workingmen's  Party  was  coming  under  the  control 
of  cooler  heads;  and  its  delegates  to  the  Constitutional  Convention  of 
that  year  brought  to  Sacramento  a  program  of  constructive  proposals, 
several  of  which  were  adopted. 

For  his  outspoken  charges  against  local  political  conditions  and  for 
his  advocacy  of  the  workingmen's  cause,  Isaac  S.  Kalloch,  a  Baptist 
minister  of  considerable  oratorical  ability,  became  a  candidate  for  mayor 
of  San  Francisco  that  same  year.  His  bitterest  opponents  were  the  De 
Young  brothers,  owners  and  editors  of  the  San  Francisco  Chronicle, 
who  waged  a  highly  personal  war  of  words  with  Kalloch  until  the 
latter's  blistering  riposte  finale  caused  Charles  de  Young  to  blaze  away 
at  him  with  a  pistol.  Not  fatally  wounded,  Kalloch  was  enthusiastically 
elected;  but  the  feud  went  on  until,  on  the  evening  of  April  23,  1880, 
Kalloch's  son  forestalled  further  damage  to  his  father's  battered  reputa- 
tion by  fatally  shooting  De  Young.  With  public  sentiment  in  his  favor, 
young  Kalloch  was  acquitted. 

BIG  CITY   (1875-1906) 

The  city's  configuration,  minus  only  its  outlying  residential  districts, 
is  already  apparent  in  Currier  and  Ives'  The  City  of  San  Francisco — 
1878  (a  bird's-eye  view).  The  gospel  of  bigness  which  William  C. 
Ralston  "the  Magnificent"  had  preached  by  lavish  example  had  caught 
the  city's  imagination.  An  unkempt  metropolis  whose  nocturnal  thor- 
oughfares were  still  murky  with  gaslight,  a  patchwork  of  paved  and 
cobbled  streets  with  plank  sidewalks,  San  Francisco,  by  1885,  had  ended 
the  first  decade  of  its  expansive  modern  phase.  The  decade  preceding 
the  panic  of  1893  was  one  of  general  prosperity  in  which  "The  Rail- 
road" was  able  to  gain  control  of  the  city  through  the  machinations  of 


IO6      SAN     FRANCISCO 

Chris  Buckley,  blind  political  boss  in  its  pay,  while  depositors  of  savings 
banks  viewed  their  accounts  with  satisfaction. 

San  Francisco's  population  was  nearly  300,000  when,  in  1893,  a 
Nation-wide  depression  caused  the  closing  of  18  local  banks.  Hundreds 
of  the  city's  unemployed,  forming  a  local  contingent  of  "Coxey's  Army," 
set  out  for  Washington  to  demand  Federal  aid.  The  following  year 
the  Mid-winter  Fair,  designed  to  facilitate  business  revival,  was  par- 
tially successful.  But  the  Southern  Pacific's  monopoly  of  transportation 
still  prevented  any  substantial  recovery. 

When  the  Bank  of  California's  old  enemy,  Adolph  Sutro,  was 
elected  mayor  of  San  Francisco  in  1894,  the  long-drawn-out  struggle  to 
break  the  power  of  "The  Railroad"  began.  The  public  still  believed, 
however,  that  the  prosperity  of  the  community  depended  on  the  success 
of  the  "Corporation" — and  that  the  Corporation  depended  for  success 
on  special  privilege — and  Sutro's  battle  against  the  Southern  Pacific  was 
doomed  to  be  a  solitary  and  thankless  feud.  His  successor  in  office, 
James  D.  Phelan,  was  somewhat  more  successful.  Despite  opposition 
from  the  railroad's  political  machine,  Phelan  in  May  1898  obtained 
ratification  of  a  new  charter  which  was  considered  a  model  for  progres- 
sive municipal  government.  In  an  attempt  to  beautify  the  city,  numer- 
ous parks  and  public  playgrounds  were  established,  and  so  popular  had 
the  "city  beautiful"  movement  become  by  1899  that  $18,000,000  had 
been  voted  for  public  improvements.  In  his  third  and  last  term  as 
mayor,  however,  Phelan  lost  his  popularity  by  attempting  to  break  a 
city-wide  strike  of  teamsters. 

Out  of  this  prolonged  and  violent  teamsters'  strike  of  1901  arose 
the  Union  Labor  Party.  In  the  election  of  1902  its  candidate  for 
mayor,  Eugene  E.  Schmitz  of  the  Musicians'  Union,  was  elected  by  a 
sizeable  majority.  Though  Schmitz  himself  seems  to  have  had  honor- 
able intentions,  he  soon  came  under  the  dominance  of  Abraham  Ruef, 
shrewdest  of  the  city's  long  succession  of  political  bosses.  It  became 
common  knowledge  within  the  next  four  years  that  the  entire  structure 
of  municipal  government  was  worm-eaten  with  graft. 

For  50  years  San  Francisco's  tenderloin  had  been  a  haven  for  crim- 
inals and  prostitutes  of  every  sort;  and  it  had  its  own  crude  laws,  its 
definite  social  gradations.  Here,  in  an  area  roughly  bounded  by  Clay 
Street,  Grant  Avenue,  Broadway,  and  the  water  front,  was  that 
infamous  quarter  named  by  seafarers  for  those  pirate-infested  shores  of 
North  Africa:  the  Barbary  Coast.  On  November  28,  1869,  the  San 
Francisco  Call  had  deplored  the  fact  that  the  region  abounded  in 
"scenes  of  wretchedness  and  pollution  unparallelled  on  this  side  of  the 
great  mountains" ;  but  since  its  denizens  preyed  chiefly  upon  each  other 
and  on  such  victims  as  were  foolish  enough  to  venture  among  them,  the 
municipal  authorities  let  them  go  to  the  devil  in  their  own  way.  Leaders 


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MURAL  BY  DIEGO  RIVERA,  SAN  FRANCISCO  STOCK  EXCHANGE 


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STEAMERS  DRYDOCKED  IN  OAKLAND 


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MILLS  COLLEGE  ART  GALLERY,  OAKLAND 


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LICK  OBSERVATORY.  MOUNT  HAMILTON 


UNIVERSITY  OF  CALIFORNIA 


SATHER  GATE 


MEMORIAL  BY  BEN  I  AM  O  BUFANO 
SUN  YAT  SEN,  IN  ST.  MARY'S  SQUARE 


THE    CITY'S    GROWTH     icy 

of  the  Barbary  Coast's  gang  of  hoodlums — criminal  descendants  of  the 
Hounds  and  the  Sydney  Ducks  of  Gold  Rush  times — forced  profits  from 
the  myriad  resorts  of  vice,  and  in  their  turn  paid  protection  money  to 
the  political  machine  which  was  exacting  tribute  from  respectable  San 
Franciscans  in  other  ways. 

"The  Wickedest  City  in  the  World"  it  might  be;  but  its  flourishing 
vice  traffic  and  its  scandalous  misgovernment  notwithstanding,  San 
Francisco  in  1906  had  attained  the  stature  of  undisputed  metropolis  of 
the  Pacific  Coast.  With  a  population  of  nearly  400,000,  with  its  great 
hotels  and  churches  and  commercial  establishments — its  numerous  fine 
schools,  libraries,  and  hospitals — the  city  by  the  Golden  Gate  was  a 
recognized  world  center  of  trade  and  finance  and  a  gay  capital  of  inter- 
national society  on  a  par  with  London,  New  York,  and  Paris. 

Five  o'clock  on  the  morning  of  April  18,  1906,  and  all  was  well. 
The  majority  of  the  city's  population  was  peacefully  asleep.  "Families 
of  artisans  and  mechanics  living  in  homes  and  lodging  houses  south  of 
Market  Street  were  be-stirring  themselves.  Oil  stoves  were  lighted  and 
smoke  was  lazily  curling  out  of  kitchen  chimneys  .  .  .  when  at  thirteen 
minutes  past  the  hour,  the  deeps  of  the  earth,  far  down  under  the 
foundations  of  the  city,  began  to  rumble  and  vibrate."  Instantly  the 
whole  community  was  awake,  transfixed  and  speechless  with  alarm. 
"The  earth  tremors  increased  in  violence  .  .  .  there  was  a  sickening 
sensation  as  if  everything  were  toppling.  Plaster  poured  from  ceilings 
.  .  .  heavy  furniture  moved  about  banged  upon  the  floor;  and  then  the 
brick  walls  gave  way  .  .  .  Tall  structures,  ribbed  and  rocked  with 
steel,  swayed  like  trees  in  a  wind-storm,  but  stood  triumphant  at  the 
end  with  scarce  a  brick  or  stone  displaced." 

Such,  in  Charles  Keeler's  description,  was  the  first  impact  of  the 
earthquake.  It  lasted  only  48  seconds.  Few  persons,  outside  the  down- 
town business  district,  had  any  idea  of  the  extent  of  the  calamity  which 
had  befallen  the  city.  Certainly  no  one  dreamed  that  this  was  to  be  but 
the  prelude  to  its  destruction.  The  crowds  of  bewildered  citizens  who 
rushed  out  into  the  streets  in  their  night-clothing,  seeing  no  more  than 
some  fallen  masonry  and  sniffing  the  pall  of  dust,  straggled  back  to  their 
rooms  to  wash  their  faces  and  get  decently  dressed. 

Well-constructed  buildings  were  hardly  damaged  at  all.  The  most 
appalling  ruin  was  that  of  the  great  City  Hall,  on  which  $7,000,000  of 
public  funds  had  been  squandered.  But  San  Francisco  was  90  per  cent 
frame,  a  larger  portion  of  wooden  buildings  than  any  city  in  the  United 
States.  Old  lodging  houses  of  the  laboring  poor,  in  the  congested  area 
south  of  Market  Street,  bore  the  full  brunt  of  the  shock;  and  as  these 
toppled  over  upon  countless  screaming  victims,  fires  from  overturned 
stoves  within  the  wreckage  blazed  up  in  a  score  of  widely  separated 
places.  A  terrific  explosion  shook  the  area:  the  city's  gas  works  had 


IO8      SAN     FRANCISCO 

blown  up.  No  alarms  were  struck  owing  to  complete  breakdown  of  the 
fire  alarm  system,  and  as  fire  engines  went  clanging  through  the  streets, 
a  huge  cloud  of  smoke  rose  over  all  the  southern  section  of  the  city. 

Crowds  of  anxious  spectators  and  the  horde  of  refugees  from  the 
burning  district  were  amazed  at  the  sight  of  artillery  troops  and  caissons 
from  the  Presidio  rumbling  down  Montgomery  Street.  The  sound  of 
muffled  explosions,  coming  from  the  edge  of  the  approaching  wall  of 
flame,  confirmed  the  rumor  that  water  mains  had  been  disrupted  by  the 
earthquake,  and  that  dynamite  was  being  used  in  a  desperate  attempt  to 
save  the  city.  As  the  day  advanced  the  fire  swept  along  the  water  front, 
leaped  across  Market  Street.  By  nightfall  Chinatown  and  all  the  busi- 
ness district  was  ablaze.  The  South  of  Market  area  was  a  charred  and 
smouldering  ruin.  Endless  streams  of  refugees  fled  to  the  hilltops  or 
westward  to  Golden  Gate  Park. 

By  nightfall  of  the  second  day,  with  the  raging  inferno  moving 
steadily  westward  as  if  to  engulf  the  entire  city,  a  last  stand  was  made 
by  the  army  of  fire  fighters  at  Van  Ness  Avenue.  With  charges  of 
dynamite  they  blasted  to  heaps  of  rubbish  the  long  line  of  mansions 
forming  that  wide  thoroughfare's  eastern  facade.  The  heartbreaking 
destruction,  at  last,  turned  the  tide.  Not  until  Saturday  morning,  April 
21,  however,  did  the  fire  finally  burn  itself  out  among  the  scattered 
houses  of  North  Beach.  The  center  of  the  city — an  area  of  512  blocks 
containing  a  total  of  28,188  buildings  great  and  small — had  been  de- 
molished in  72  hours.  Property  losses  amounted  to  $500,000,000. 
Three  hundred  and  fifteen  bodies  were  recovered  from  the  debris  and 
ashes;  352  persons  remained  unaccounted  for.  In  the  Presidio,  in 
Golden  Gate  Park,  and  in  parks  and  lots  outside  the  burned  area  more 
than  250,000  homeless  citizens  were  encamped;  and  100,000  more  had 
fled  to  safety  across  the  Bay  or  down  the  San  Francisco  Peninsula. 

RISING  PHOENIX  (1906-1940) 

To  all  intents  and  purposes,  though  never  by  actual  proclamation 
of  the  mayor,  the  city  was  under  martial  law  from  the  morning  of  the 
earthquake  until  about  the  middle  of  May.  Besides  Federal  troops 
and  a  naval  patrol,  State  militia  and  the  local  police  force,  a  citizen's 
committee  appointed  by  Mayor  Schmitz  patrolled  the  city;  and  on  his 
authority  these  various  law-enforcing  bodies  were  instructed  to  "shoot 
to  KILL  any  and  all  persons  found  engaged  in  looting  or  in  the  Com- 
mission of  Any  Other  Crime."  That  remarkable  propensity  for  bring- 
ing order  out  of  the  howling  chaos — or,  as  Josiah  Royce  puts  it,  that 
American  genius  for  self-government — was  never  better  demonstrated 
than  during  the  weeks  of  feverish  reconstruction  which  followed  the 
calamity.  Despite  the  enormity  of  the  disaster,  it  had  the  salutary  effect 


109 

of  reducing  all  classes  and  condition  of  men  to  the  common  denominator 
of  the  breadline,  wherein  the  goodnatured  camaraderie  of  the  early  days 
of  '49  was  suddenly  restored. 

For  two  months  following  the  earthquake  and  fire  the  hitherto 
diverse  and  antagonistic  social  elements  worked  together  in  jovial  ac- 
cord, and  San  Francisco  was  the  best-behaved  city  in  America.  Night 
and  day  the  labor  of  clearing  away  the  rubbish,  of  laying  new  founda- 
tions, went  on  at  a  lively  pace.  With  the  opening  of  a  thousand 
makeshift  saloons,  however,  the  city  fell  from  grace;  within  three 
months  83  criminal  offenses  were  committed  and  some  6,000  pistol  per- 
mits were  issued  for  defense  of  persons  and  property. 

The  ashes  of  San  Francisco  were  hardly  cool  when  the  drive  to 
"clean  up  the  city"  that  was  interrupted  by  the  disaster  was  resumed. 
Public-spirited  citizens  led  by  ex-Mayor  James  Phelan  and  Rudolph 
Spreckels  led  the  attack  against  "the  System"  of  Abe  Ruef,  the  munici- 
pal government,  and  the  Southern  Pacific  Company's  subsidiary,  the 
United  Railways.  The  graft  investigation  opened  with  charges  that 
city  officials  had  granted  the  United  Railways  a  monopoly  of  streetcar 
franchises  in  exchange  for  bribes,  thus  preventing  the  $11,000,000 
municipal  railway  organized  by  Spreckels  and  Phelan  from  operating 
traction  lines  in  competition  with  the  private  company. 

Assisted  by  Fremont  Older,  crusading  editor  of  the  Bulletin,  and 
attorney  Francis  J.  Heney,  prosecutor  of  Oregon's  infamous  land 
frauds,  the  graft  investigators  established  not  only  the  bribe-taking  of 
city  supervisors  in  the  matter  of  railway  franchises  but  also  brought  to 
light  the  complicity  of  these  officials  in  aiding  private  corporations  to 
gain  control  of  municipal  public  utilities.  Testimony  of  the  18  super- 
visors, who  were  promised  immunity  for  confessions  when  faced  with 
proof  of  their  guilt,  convicted  Abe  Ruef  and  put  Mayor  Schmitz 
behind  bars. 

Despite  all  this  name-calling  and  legal  violence  the  work  of  rebuild- 
ing the  city  went  steadily  on.  The  $175,000,000  paid  to  holders  of 
insurance  policies  furnished  a  substantial  impetus  to  rehabilitation. 
Within  the  year  following  the  disaster  construction  amounting  to  more 
than  $80,000,000  was  undertaken.  By  1909  construction  figures  had 
reached  $150,000,000;  and  the  devastated  area  was  almost  completely 
rebuilt  by  the  end  of  the  year. 

Reformist  Mayor  Edward  Robeson  Taylor,  who  had  succeeded  the 
unlucky  Schmitz,  was  displaced  in  the  election  of  1909  by  the  Union 
Labor  Party's  candidate,  P.  H.  McCarthy.  Despite  apparent  collapse 
of  the  campaign  against  the  "Interests,"  the  sentiment  for  reform  had 
permeated  the  whole  State;  and  the  election  of  Hiram  Johnson  to  the 
governorship  saw  the  appointment  of  a  Railroad  Commission  that 
smashed  the  power  of  the  Southern  Pacific's  machine  which  had  domi- 


IIO      SAN     FRANCISCO 

nated  California  for  almost  half  a  century.  Following  the  election  of 
James  Rolph,  Jr.,  in  1911,  the  Union  Labor  Party  went  into  a  decline. 
It  is,  however,  still  the  political  arm  of  the  American  Federation  of 
Labor  and  endorses  candidates  but  does  not  run  its  own  slate. 

Consistently  returned  to  office  for  the  next  2O  years,  "Sunny  Jim" 
Rolph  was  a  prince  of  glad-handers  in  high-heeled  polished  boots,  ten- 
gallon  hats,  and  Palm  Beach  suits  who  brought  to  San  Francisco  a 
bizarre  policy  of  goodwill  that  was  the  outward  symbol  of  confidence 
and  prosperity.  His  prolonged  administration  saw  the  extension  of 
streets  into  residential  districts  beyond  the  hills,  electrification  of  street 
railways  and  extended  municipal  ownership  of  public  utilities;  the 
successful  Panama-Pacific  International  Exposition;  the  hysteria  pre- 
ceding American  entrance  into  the  World  War  and  the  speculative 
boom  of  the  early  J2o's;  the  eclipse  of  social  conviviality  in  the  morbid 
Prohibition  days  of  bad  gin,  sex,  and  jazz. 

When  the  State's  Red  Light  Abatement  Act  and  the  revoking  of 
dance-hall  licenses  finally  brought  to  an  end  in  1917  the  long  career  of 
the  Barbary  Coast,  old-timers  watched  its  passing  with  aching  hearts. 
Pride  in  the  splendor  of  the  rising  city,  however,  turned  the  eyes  of  San 
Franciscans  to  the  future  as  great  hotels,  lofty  apartment  houses,  and 
skyscrapers  brought  to  the  truncated  skyline  the  aspect  of  a  massive 
American  metropolis.  Thrilling  tribute  to  a  three-quarter  century  of 
progress  was  the  city's  Diamond  Jubilee  of  1925,  when  the  Nation's 
naval  forces — forming  a  procession  25  miles  in  length — steamed  in 
through  the  Golden  Gate. 

The  Nation-wide  financial  crisis  of  1929  did  not  immediately  check 
San  Francisco's  business  boom,  and  public  improvements  continued.  In 
1930  its  population  passed  the  634,000  mark.  The  great  Hetch-Hetchy 
dam  in  the  high  Sierras  was  nearing  completion,  and  pending  availability 
of  its  resources  of  light  and  power  the  city  augmented  its  public  utilities 
by  purchasing  the  Spring  Valley  Water  Company.  Municipal  govern- 
ment cast  off  its  outmoded  legal  garment  and  clothed  itself  in  the  shining 
armor  of  a  new  charter.  Even  the  onslaught  of  the  depression  which 
struck  the  city  in  1932,  while  it  brought  on  a  decline  in  shipping  and 
industry  and  threw  some  70,000  workers  out  of  employment,  delayed 
only  for  another  year  the  initial  construction  of  the  San  Francisco-Oak- 
land Bay  Bridge.  The  city's  sound  financial  and  business  structure 
enabled  it  to  emerge  with  losses  less  serious  than  those  of  any  other 
major  American  city. 

The  Golden  Gate  International  Exposition  of  1939-40,  planned  as 
a  "Pageant  of  the  Pacific"  to  celebrate  the  completion  of  the  two  great 
bridges  across  the  Bay  and  the  Golden  Gate,  was  attended  in  1939  by 
10,496,203  visiters;  it  gave  to  the  Bay  area  the  impetus  needed  to  raise 


THE     CITY     S     GROWTH       III 


San  Francisco  business  indices  to  pre-depression  levels.  Even  more  vast 
and  incalculable  appear  the  cultural  influences  which  may  be  derived 
from  this  ''World's  Fair  of  the  West"  in  the  new  era  of  increasing 
relations  with  the  nations  of  the  Pacific  and  the  western  hemisphere. 


San  Franciscans  at  Work 


"No  occupation  was  considered  at  all  derogatory  .  .  .  Every 
kind  of  business,  custom,  and  employment,  was  solicited  .  .  .  the 
field  was  open,  and  every  one  was  striving  for  what  seemed  to  be 
within  the  reach  of  all — a  foremost  rank  in  his  own  sphere," 

— J.  D.  BORTHWICK    (1857) 

WJ3EN  the  first  streaks  of  dawn  scatter  the  night,  San  Francisco 
awakes,  not  to  the  march  of  early  morning  factory  workers, 
but  to  the  whir  of  limousines  speeding  brokers  to  the  Stock 
Exchange.  For  in  San  Francisco,  because  of  the  difference  between 
Pacific  and  Atlantic  time,  they  must  be  at  work  by  six  of  a  summer 
morning  to  be  on  the  floor  of  the  Exchange  when  Wall  Street  begins 
trading.  In  winter,  when  daylight  saving  has  been  discontinued  in  the 
East,  the  San  Francisco  broker  may  sleep  on  hour  later. 

But  the  stock  brokers  are  not  the  earliest  risers.  At  two  in  the 
morning  the  area  east  of  Montgomery  Street  and  the  financial  district 
already  has  begun  filling,  the  narrow  streets  rumbling  to  the  heavy 
wheels  of  trucks  bringing  fresh  fruits  and  vegetables  from  Peninsula 
truck  farms  and  valley  ranches  to  the  wholesale  produce  markets.  And 
in  North  Beach  the  crab  fishermen  are  hurrying  to  the  wharf,  anxious 
to  push  their  small  boats  through  the  Gate  on  an  acquiescent  tide. 

When  the  siren  at  the  Ferry  Building  sounds  eight  o'clock  the  water 
front  comes  suddenly  to  life.  Longshoremen  surge  through  steel-jawed 
pier  doors,  teamsters  and  trucks  at  their  heels.  As  loading  and  discharg- 
ing of  cargo  proceeds  in  the  nearby  warehouses  some  eight  to  ten  thou- 
sand warehousemen  sort,  check,  and  pile  the  thousands  of  tons  of 
merchandise  for  storage,  transshipment,  or  distribution.  Here,  on  or 
near  the  water  front,  congregate  the  crews  of  the  many  vessels  from 
tugboats  to  passenger  liners — sailors  and  marine  engineers,  radio 
telegraphers  and  bargemen,  firemen,  oilers,  and  watertenders.  Masters, 
mates  and  pilots,  cooks  and  stewards  join  the  groups  clambering  aboard 
the  ships  at  dock. 

Here  too  are  the  shoreworkers :  the  maritime  jitney  drivers  hauling 
trucks  of  cargo  from  pier  to  pier,  the  sealers  who  scrape  and  paint  the 
hulls  and  tanks  and  holds  of  the  ships,  the  lumber  handlers  who  pile  and 
unpile  the  millions  of  feet  of  lumber  unloaded  by  steam  schooners. 
Marine  machinists  and  boilermakers,  shipbuilders  and  wharfbuilders, 
watchmen,  checkers,  and  maritime  office  employees — all  of  these  come 
to  work  in  thetcity  within  a  city  that  is  San  Francisco's  Embarcadero. 

As  the  men  and  women  who  haunt  the  silent  office  buildings  at  night 

112 


SAN     FRANCISCANS     AT     WORK      113 

climb  aboard  outbound  streetcars  at  dawn  and  stare  sleepily  out  of 
windows,  yawning,  anxious  only  to  get  home,  the  trickle  of  white-collar 
workers  which  will  soon  become  a  river  of  humanity  is  already  flowing 
from  the  opposite  direction.  Soon  the  cars  are  packed  with  office  work- 
ers, doctors,  lawyers,  stenographers,  and  salespeople,  who  populate  the 
downtown  area  and  line  lunch  counters  behind  steam-covered  windows, 
seeking  the  morning  cup  of  coffee.  Down  the  California  Street  hill 
come  the  bulging  cable  cars  to  disgorge  their  human  cargoes  into  the 
financial  district — cars  locally  dubbed  " Stenographers'  Specials,"  loaded 
with  the  female  office  workers  whom  eastern  columnists  have  called  "the 
most  beautiful  working-girls  in  the  world."  Warehousemen,  factory 
workers,  printers  mingle  with  the  white-collar  workers,  clutching 
transfers,  smoking,  hurrying  to  the  job.  The  stream  of  humanity  mov- 
ing east  is  joined  by  another,  the  commuters  coming  from  the  Bay 
Bridge  train  terminal,  overcoated,  packing  rumpled  newspapers,  books, 
and  purses.  From  the  ferries  and  bridges — from  Marin  County,  Oak- 
land, Berkeley,  Alameda,  and  Peninsula  towns — they  come.  As  they 
pour  into  the  doorways  of  department  stores,  shops,  and  office  buildings, 
there  comes  to  the  observer  the  significance  of  statistics  which  say  that 
in  San  Francisco  the  ratio  of  white-collar  workers  to  manual  workers  is 
more  than  that  of  any  other  American  city. 

Meanwhile  along  the  southern  shore  of  the  city  proceeds  the  in- 
pouring  of  the  stockyard  and  industrial  workers,  the  men  who  sweat  in 
the  freight  sheds,  the  sugar  refinery  in  Butchertown,  and  the  fish  reduc- 
tion plant;  who  toil  in  the  railway  repair  shops,  the  shipyards  and  dry- 
docks,  the  foundries,  the  steel  and  wire  and  pipe  industries,  the  drab 
cement  and  gravel  plants.  Here  more  than  anywhere  else  in  San  Fran- 
cisco comes  the  impression  of  the  trek  to  work  of  a  grimy  march  of  men 
to  the  music  of  necessity — men  totaling  more  than  68,000,  equaling  in 
numbers  those  employed  in  wholesale  and  retail  trade. 

Among  the  city's  250,000  gainfully  employed  workers,  the  greatest 
concentration  occurs  in  about  equal  proportion  in  the  manufacturing 
industries,  in  the  retail  and  wholesale  trades,  and  in  transportation  and 
communication.  With  an  estimated  50,000  dependent  upon  direct  mari- 
time activities,  the  balance  are  engaged  in  the  innumerable  pursuits  of  a 
commercial,  financial,  and  distributing  center.  More  than  21,441  are 
engaged  in  real  estate,  insurance,  and  finance;  32,565  in  service  estab- 
lishments; and  24,642  in  professional  and  semi-professional  pursuits. 

As  the  morning  wears  on,  the  newsboys  shout  raucously.  The 
owners  of  flower  stands  pack  bright,  dripping  carnations  and  gardenias 
in  colorful  rows  along  the  sidewalks.  Suddenly  the  newsboys  are  silent, 
waiting  later  editions  and  blacker  headlines.  The  buildings  spew  forth 
their  crowds  to  seek  a  quick  lunch  in  drug  store,  cafeteria,  and 
restaurant. 


114      SAN     FRANCISCO 

Women  shoppers  throng  Market  Street  after  lunch,  peering  into 
store  windows.  Uniformed  ushers  and  doormen  stand  idly  by  box  offices, 
awaiting  matinee  crowds.  Finally,  the  sun  ducks  behind  the  office  build- 
ings, and  the  homeward  rush  begins. 

As  day  merges  into  night,  neon  lights  flash  on.  Cocktail  lounges 
begin  to  fill ;  darkness  brings  a  dinner  rush.  Musicians  and  entertainers, 
waitresses  and  night  cooks  scurry  through  alley  entrances  to  the  centers 
of  the  city's  night  life.  Taxis  move  from  hotel  to  night  club,  from 
restaurant  to  bar.  Life  becomes  a  rising  tide,  hidden  behind  frosted 
glass,  pulsing  to  the  blare  of  nickel  phonographs  or  the  fevered  tunes  of 
swing  bands. 

And  then  at  two  a.  m.  the  lights  go  out;  stools  and  tables  are 
stacked;  doors  are  closed.  Musicians  and  dancers,  kitchen  help  and 
customers,  going  home  through  dark  and  empty  streets,  hear  the  swish 
of  street-cleaning  trucks.  The  flare  of  an  electric  welder  busy  at  a 
street  intersection  flashes  through  the  night.  Soon  come  the  white  milk 
trucks  converging  to  their  distribution  points,  and  the  mountainous 
garbage  vans  clattering  from  restaurant  back  doors  loaded  for  suburban 
pig  farms.  Already  stirring  are  the  produce  workers  and  fishermen 
whose  work  is  about  to  begin. 

So  the  day  ends  and  begins  again,  and  time  has  drawn  another  24- 
hour  circle  around  the  city  and  its  workers. 

WALL  STREET  OF  THE  WEST 

San  Francisco's  Montgomery  Street,  "Wall  Street  of  the  West," 
runs  north  from  Market  Street  between  tall,  austere  office  buildings,  a 
canyon  of  high  finance.  What  men  say  in  offices,  staid  restaurants,  and 
soft-lighted  bars  along  Montgomery  Street  is  passed  on  by  the  ticker 
tapes  of  the  Nation,  is  translated  into  the  languages  and  dialects  of 
Mexico,  South  America,  Australia,  the  Orient.  Great  farms,  stagger- 
ing lumber  resources,  Hawaiian  sugar  and  Guatemalan  coffee  planta- 
tions, broad  oil  fields  with  their  forests  of  derricks,  Alaskan  fish  canneries 
and  some  of  the  largest  fruit  canneries  in  the  world,  shipping  lines  that 
encircle  the  globe,  mines  and  power  plants — the  life  blood  of  all  these  is 
regulated  in  Montgomery  Street's  board  rooms  and  brokerage  firms. 

Up  the  street  toward  the  Plaza  in  May,  1848,  out  of  breath  and 
dusty  after  his  trip  from  the  diggings,  hurried  Sam  Brannan.  Within 
five  years  he  would  become  California's  first  millionaire — and  Mont- 
gomery Street  would  be  lined  with  bankers'  offices.  As  gold  dust  began 
coming  down  the  Sacramento,  some  means  for  handling  it  had  to  be 
found.  The  first  requisites  were  scales  and  a  safe,  to  weigh  and  store 
the  precious  metal;  and  so  storekeepers  were  the  first  bankers.  Soon 
merchants,  assayers,  and  express  companies  were  buying  up  gold  dust  in 


SAN     FRANCISCANS     AT     WORK       115 

exchange  for  drafts  on  Eastern  banks.  And  before  the  end  of  the  year, 
Stephen  A.  Wright  had  opened  his  Miners'  Bank  with  an  advertised 
capital  of  $200,000  and  was  collecting  interest  of  from  8  to  15  per  cent 
a  month  on  real  estate  loans.  He  was  soon  competing  with  others: 
Henry  M.  Naglee;  Lucas  Turner  and  Company,  represented  by  Wil- 
liam Tecumseh  Sherman — and  even  the  Rothschilds. 

Rich  in  gold,  San  Francisco  nonetheless  found  itself  poor  in  money. 
A  pinch  of  gold  dust  substituted  for  a  dollar;  a  "bit  piece"  of  dollar- 
length  gold  wire  (divided  into  eight  parts),  for  smaller  coins — "two 
bits,"  "four  bits,"  "six  bits."  The  coins  of  every  nation  were  pressed  into 
service,  at  a  rate  of  exchange  based  on  their  size.  English  shillings, 
French  francs,  and  Mexican  double-reals  were  as  acceptable  as  Amer- 
ican quarters.  Peruvian  doubloons,  Spanish  pesetas,  Austrian  zwanzi- 
gers,  Dutch  florins,  Indian  rupees  changed  hands  regularly.  Even  the 
price  of  gold  fluctuated  from  $8  to  $16  an  ounce  until  1851,  when  it 
was  stabilized  at  $16.  In  the  absence  of  a  mint,  assay  offices  began  to 
coin  5-,  10-,  2O-,  and  25-dollar  slugs;  at  one  time  14  such  private  mints 
were  operating.  Their  coins  varied  widely  in  value,  ranging  from  the 
Pacific  Company's  $10  gold  pieces,  worth  $7.86,  to  Kohler  and  Com- 
pany's, worth  $10.10.  Not  until  1854,  when  the  United  States  Mint 
was  opened,  were  standards  for  coinage  fixed. 

The  methods  of  Joseph  C.  Palmer  of  Palmer,  Cook  and  Company, 
express  agents  who  became  bankers  in  1851,  reflected  the  spirit  of  the 
times.  It  is  said  a  depositor  once  wanted  to  withdraw  $28,000  from 
his  account  with  the  firm.  Palmer's  consent  was  necessary.  The  de- 
positor found  him  in  a  lumber  yard  a  mile  from  the  bank.  Neither 
pencil  nor  paper  nor  pen  was  available.  Palmer  picked  up  a  shingle  and 
on  it,  with  a  piece  of  red  chalk,  wrote  a  check  for  $28,000  which  was 
readily  accepted  at  the  bank. 

The  express  companies  did  a  land-office  business  shipping  gold  to 
the  east,  receiving  deposits,  selling  drafts  and  making  loans.  Outstand- 
ing among  them  was  Wells  Fargo,  a  name  still  familiar  throughout  the 
West.  As  early  as  1852  this  firm  was  selling  exchange  on  53  different 
cities  in  the  country.  In  many  California  mining  or  ghost  mining  towns 
Wells  Fargo  scales  on  which  millions  of  dollars  in  gold  dust  have  been 
weighed  are  still  on  exhibit.  The  company  became  a  bank  in  1866, 
operating  its  banking  activities  in  conjunction  with  its  express  business 
until  1878,  when  the  two  branches  were  separated. 

The  Gold  Rush  boom  had  so  far  overreached  itself  by  1854  that  a 
crisis  in  mercantile  affairs  developed  which  steadily  grew  worse  until 
the  "Black  Friday"  of  February  23,  1855,  began  a  financial  panic  which 
forced  20  of  the  42  banking  firms  to  shut  their  doors  forever.  Real 
estate  values  slumped.  Bankruptcies  increased  from  77  in  1854  to  197 
in  1855.  "Honest"  Harry  Meiggs,  city  alderman,  fled  to  Chile,  leav- 


Il6      SAN     FRANCISCO 

ing  behind  $800,000  worth  of  bad  debts,  impartially  distributed  among 
the  financial  houses  of  the  city,  which  were  secured  only  by  forged  city 
warrants.  Palmer,  Cook  and  Company  failed  with  a  loss  of  $3,500,000. 

When  in  1859  the  flow  of  colossal  riches  from  the  silver  deposits  of 
Nevada  mines  began,  however,  a  new  era  commenced  which  established 
San  Francisco  finally  as  financial  center  of  the  West.  When  the  Fed- 
eral government  and  all  of  the  Eastern  banks  left  the  gold  standard  in 
1862,  William  C.  Ralston  convinced  San  Francisco's  business  men  that 
California  must  stay  on  gold.  He  pointed  out  that  the  Union  would 
need  gold,  which  they  could  ship  to  the  East  and  exchange  for  green- 
backs. As  greenback  values  dropped — before  the  war  was  ended  a  gold 
dollar  was  worth  two  greenbacks — the  merchants  and  investors  profited 
handsomely. 

As  mining  activities  went  on  booming,  San  Francisco  became  again 
the  turbulent  city  of  the  Gold  Rush,  but  no  longer  was  it  necessary  for 
a  man  to  dig  in  the  earth  to  make  his  poke.  Fortunes  were  made  daily 
— and  lost  as  easily — in  mining  stocks.  In  1862  forty  men  united  to 
organize  the  San  Francisco  Stock  and  Exchange  Board. 

In  the  second  year  of  the  war,  when  President  Lincoln  signed  the 
Pacific  Railroad  Bill,  the  "Big  Four"  began  laying  the  tracks  of  the 
Central  Pacific  eastward. 

The  Comstock  Lode  was  pouring  wealth  into  San  Francisco,  and 
William  C.  Ralston  had  a  finger  in  the  most  important  of  the  mines. 
On  July  5,  1864,  his  Bank  of  California  opened  with  D.  O.  Mills  as 
president.  For  more  than  ten  years  it  was  to  be  the  power  back  of  the 
greatest  undertakings  in  the  West.  Bank  money  developed  the  Com- 
stock Lode — and  the  Lode  repayed  more  than  abundantly.  When  the 
"Big  Four"  were  blocked  in  their  efforts  to  put  the  railroad  through, 
Ralston  loaned  them  bank  money  on  their  personal  notes,  and  assumed 
personal  responsibility  for  their  debts. 

The  collapse  of  the  short  boom  in  real  estate  prices  which  followed 
the  driving  of  the  last  spike  in  the  transcontinental  railroad  in  May, 
1869,  left  Ralston  holding  much  property  in  the  Montgomery  Street 
extension  south  of  Market.  When  it  began  to  appear  that  the  Com- 
stock Lode,  in  which  millions  of  the  Bank  of  California's  deposits  had 
been  sunk,  was  worn  out,  rumors  started  that  threatened  to  cause  a  run 
on  the  bank.  In  September,  1869,  the  night  before  the  run  was  ex- 
pected, Ralston  managed  a  stunt  which  has  never  been  duplicated. 
During  the  night,  Ashbury  Harpending  and  a  man  named  Dore, 
exchanged  five  tons  of  gold  with  the  United  States  Sub-Treasury  for 
coined  money.  These  men  carried  this  load  by  hand  throughout  the 
night.  In  the  morning,  when  the  run  began,  Ralston  was  able  to  put 
on  the  tables,  in  sight  of  the  depositors,  an  inexhaustible  supply  of  coined 
money.  The  panic  stopped  almost  as  soon  as  it  had  started. 


SAN     FRANCISCANS     AT     WORK       117 

During  1865  and  1866,  the  mines  seemed  to  have  played  out  as  one 
by  one  they  reached  the  end  of  visible  ore.  Adolph  Sutro,  a  German- 
Jewish  emigrant,  conceived  the  idea  of  building  a  tunnel  under  the 
Comstock  Lode  to  drain  flooded  shafts  and  to  reach  ore  that  was  too 
deep  for  the  mining  methods  of  that  time.  Ralston  at  first  was  im- 
pressed, but  the  "Ring"  was  afraid  of  anyone's  else  cutting  in  on  the 
rich  profits  of  the  mines.  Ultimately  Sutro  had  to  fight  the  whole 
Bank  of  California  ring  to  put  the  Sutro  Tunnel  through.  His  epic 
nine-year  struggle  against  the  Bank  was  the  beginning  of  the  fall  of 
Ralston's  empire. 

By  1870,  according  to  popular  opinion,  the  Comstock  had  reached 
bottom  rock,  and  there  seemed  little  chance  of  further  veins  being  dis- 
covered. But  several  astute  miners  were  quietly  buying  up  the  stock 
of  several  of  the  mines.  John  Jones  and  Alvinza  Hayward  got  the 
Crown  Point  Mine  away  from  the  "Ring."  In  1872  two  young  mining 
men,  John  W.  Mackay  and  James  G.  Fair,  who  had  worked  in  the 
Comstock  mines,  formed  an  association  with  James  G.  Flood  and  Wil- 
liam S.  O'Brien,  San  Francisco  saloon  keepers  who  for  years  had  dabbled 
in  mining  stocks.  For  less  than  $100,000,  the  quartet  quietly  obtained 
control  of  the  California  and  the  Consolidated  Virginia,  two  mines 
which  had  yet  shown  little  promise.  The  discovery  of  a  few  veins 
started  the  stock  market  booming.  By  1872,  stocks  which  had  been 
listed  at  $10  a  share  were  bringing  hundreds.  Consolidated  Virginia 
jumped  from  $160  to  $710.  San  Francisco  went  stock-gambling  mad. 
Nowhere  could  one  hear  anything  but  names  of  mines  and  stocks — Ken- 
tuck,  Yellow  Jacket,  Crown  Point,  Consolidated  Virginia,  Ophir, 
Gould  and  Curry,  Savage.  Again  the  feeling  that  the  riches  under  the 
Lode  were  inexhaustible  swept  San  Francisco. 

Then,  like  a  flaming  comet  over  the  horizon  of  Montgomery  Street, 
blazed  the  news  that  the  "Nevada  Four's"  two  mines,  known  as  the 
Big  Bonanza,  covered  the  richest  vein  of  ore  in  the  Comstock  Lode. 
Mackay,  Fair,  Flood,  and  O'Brien  had  already  taken  the  precaution  of 
buying  up  all  available  stock  before  releasing  the  news.  Holding  un- 
limited funds,  they  settled  down  to  relentless  warfare  with  Ralston  and 
the  Bank  of  California.  The  objective  was  control  of  the  incredibly 
rich  Comstock  mines.  The  physical  properties  lay  elsewhere  but  the 
blows  were  struck  on  the  exchanges  of  San  Francisco's  Wall  Street  of 
the  West. 

As  the  struggle  proceeded,  San  Francisco  was  swept  by  an  un- 
precedented frenzy  of  speculation.  Gambling  tables  in  the  city  were 
practically  deserted.  On  the  street  curbs  in  the  financial  district  women 
brokers,  dubbed  "mudhens,"  hawked  stock  of  all  descriptions.  Women 
wearing  diamonds  and  expensive  clothes  joined  the  morning  crowds 
flocking  to  the  exchanges. 


Il8      SAN     FRANCISCO 

The  downfall  of  Ralston  in  1875  brought  financial  San  Francisco 
down  with  him.  Resolved  to  break  the  Bank  of  California,  the  Nevada 
Four  planned  to  open  a  rival  bank.  Ralston  meanwhile  was  seeking 
control  of  the  Ophir  mine,  valued  fictitiously  at  $31,000,000,  in  the 
belief  that  it  covered  part  of  the  Big  Bonanza.  James  Keene,  presiding 
member  of  the  Stock  Exchange,  quietly  bought  large  blocks  of  Ophir 
stock  for  him.  "Lucky"  Baldwin,  hearing  the  stock  was  in  great  de- 
mand, secured  many  shares  which  he  sold,  netting  himself  a  nice  profit 
of  millions.  Ralston  alone  was  overloaded  with  Ophir  stock  when  it 
was  disclosed  that  the  mine  was  an  empty  hole.  William  Sharon, 
Ralston's  right  hand  man,  had  known — and  quietly  unloaded  his  shares 
in  the  mine,  neglecting  to  tell  Ralston.  In  February,  1875  a  rumor 
swept  the  city  that  the  Big  Bonanza  had  given  out,  and  the  stock  market 
crashed.  The  drop  in  market  values  shook  the  Bank  of  California.  It 
began  to  be  rumored  that  the  bank  was  unsound,  and  that  Ralston  was 
to  blame  because  of  his  speculations.  The  new  Bank  of  Nevada  with- 
drew cash  deposits  from  the  leading  banks  of  San  Francisco,  in  order  to 
open  its  own  doors  with  a  $5,000,000  reserve  in  actual  coin.  The  with- 
drawals sent  most  of  the  banks  to  the  edge  of  insolvency.  Ralston  began 
to  sell  his  holdings  wherever  possible  in  order  to  raise  money.  On 
August  26,  1875,  after  weeks  of  crashing  values  in  mine  shares  and  an 
exhausting  run,  the  Bank  of  California  closed  its  doors. 

The  next  day  Ralston,  as  was  his  habit,  went  swimming.  His 
drowned  body  was  found  in  the  Bay  off  North  Beach. 

The  failure  of  the  Bank  of  California  for  a  time  stopped  all  trading 
on  the  Exchange.  The  bank  was  reorganized  by  D.  O.  Mills  and 
William  Sharon,  who  had  profited  heavily  by  sale  of  Ophir  stock.  But 
when  it  reopened,  it  found  the  Bank  of  Nevada,  opened  a  few  days  later 
by  the  Nevada  Four,  already  dominant  in  San  Francisco. 

Montgomery  Street's  era  of  crusading  capitalists  had  come  to  an 
end.  In  the  period  that  followed,  high  finance  pursued  a  steadier 
course.  In  1875  the  San  Francisco  Clearing  House,  first  in  the  State, 
was  organized;  before  the  year  had  passed  it  was  fifth  in  importance  in 
the  United  States.  The  year  1877  saw  the  establishment  of  a  State 
Board  of  Bank  Commissioners,  despite  terrific  opposition.  In  1882  the 
present  San  Francisco  Stock  Exchange  was  established.  The  year  fol- 
lowing, Charles  Crocker  organized  the  banking  firm  of  Crocker- Wool- 
worth  and  Company,  which  today  is  the  Crocker  First  National.  The 
1884  depression  in  the  Eastern  States  was  scarcely  felt  in  San  Francisco, 
but  closer  financial  ties  brought  the  effects  of  the  1893  panic  to  Mont- 
gomery Street  within  a  few  months  of  the  time  it  was  felt  in  New 
York. 

The  fire  of  1906  was  the  occasion  for  the  rise  of  another  spectacular 
figure.  Since  19^4,  A.  P.  Giannini,  a  commission  merchant  who  had 


SAN     FRANCISCANS     AT     WORK      IIQ 

retired  with  a  comfortable  income  at  the  age  of  thirty-two,  had  been 
trying  out  his  banking  theories  in  the  Bank  of  Italy  (now  the  Bank  of 
America),  which  he  and  his  step-father  had  founded.  Giannini  was 
able  to  turn  the  disaster  of  1906  to  his  advantage  when  he  managed  to 
remove  the  assets  and  records  from  his  bank  before  the  advancing  fire 
reached  them.  They  were  hauled  to  his  San  Mateo  home  in  wagons 
from  his  step-father's  commission  warehouse  and  camouflaged  with  a 
heap  of  fruits  and  vegetables.  The  Bank  of  Italy  was  the  first  in  the 
city  to  be  re-opened. 

In  1909,  Giannini  launched  a  drive  to  create  a  State-wide  system 
of  branch  banks  on  the  theory  that  branch  banking  was  the  best  safe- 
guard against  failure  of  banks  in  single-crop  or  single-industry  regions 
because  they  served  to  spread  the  risk.  His  streamlined  advertising 
campaign  with  full-page  advertisements  in  the  newspapers  was  un- 
precedented in  banking  history.  He  added  bank  after  bank  to  his 
chain. 

When  the  Federal  Reserve  System  was  established  by  Congress  in 

1913,  San  Francisco  was  selected  as  center  for  the  Twelfth  Federal 
Reserve  District.     Established  in  the  following  year,  the  San  Francisco 
Federal  Reserve  Bank  by  1939  had  a  membership  of  282  of  the  574 
banks  in  operation  in  the  twelfth  district  comprising  an  area  including 
California,  Oregon,  Washington,  Utah,  Idaho,  Nevada,  and  most  of 
Arizona.     Its  resources  have  grown  from  $1,965,555,000  in  December, 

1914,  to  little  short  of  $6,000,000,000  in  1939. 

Of  the  vast  financial  network  comprising  present-day  San  Fran- 
cisco's citadels  of  business,  the  Wells  Fargo  Bank  and  Union  Trust 
Company — Wells  Fargo  merged  with  the  Nevada  National  Bank  in 
1905  and  with  the  Union  Trust  Company  in  1924 — and  the  Hibernia 
Savings  and  Loan  Society  alone  have  had  uninterrupted  existence  since 
the  feverish  days  in  which  they  were  founded.  But  San  Francisco 
remains  the  financial  capital  of  the  West.  Six  of  its  21  banking  firms 
are  listed  among  the  50  largest  in  the  country.  The  Bank  of  America, 
operating  506  branch  banks  throughout  the  West,  ranks  as  the  Nation's 
fourth  largest  financial  corporation;  its  earnings  in  1938  were  $10,000,- 
ooo  greater  than  those  of  any  other  banking  institution  in  the  country. 
Only  one  San  Francisco  bank  has  failed  in  more  than  30  years,  and  that 
one,  a  branch  of  the  Bank  of  Canton,  collapsed  during  a  monetary  crisis 
of  the  Chinese  Revolution  in  1926.  Following  the  stock  market  crash 
of  1929,  the  leading  bankers  of  San  Francisco  met  and  pledged  a 
revolving  fund  of  $100,000,000  to  protect  the  city's  banks  against 
failure,  with  the  result  that  not  one  cent  was  lost  to  depositors.  Con- 
stantly seeking  new  outlets  for  investment  the  city's  financial  institutions 
have  increasingly  assumed  closer  control  of  industry  and  agriculture,  of 
shipping  and  transportation. 


I2O      SAN     FRANCISCO 

San  Francisco's  bank  clearings  for  1938  totaled  $7,000,000,000, 
fifth  highest  in  the  United  States.  Its  per  capita  wealth  is  the  highest 
in  the  country. 

LABOR'S  THOUSANDS 

San  Francisco  workers  are  proud  of  their  unions  and  jealous  of 
union  welfare.  Employers  estimate  that  half  the  population  of  San 
Francisco  consists  of  union  members  and  their  families.  All  major 
West  Coast  union  organizations  maintain  offices  or  headquarters  in  the 
city.  There  are  an  extensive  inter-union  sports  movement  and  a  junior 
union  movement  for  the  children  of  union  men.  The  newspaper  guilds- 
men,  the  warehousemen,  the  longshoremen,  the  bartenders,  and  the 
waiters  and  waitresses,  among  others,  hold  annual  grand  balls  that  are 
attended  by  thousands.  The  labor  press,  steeped  in  tradition,  has  a 
large  following  of  readers.  The  CIO  broadcasts  a  radio  labor  news 
program  that  is  popular  with  AFL  and  CIO  members  alike.  Despite 
the  division  between  American  Federation  of  Labor  and  Congress  of 
Industrial  Organizations,  union  men  of  both  groups  intermix  freely. 

Today  industry-wide  agreements  arrived  at  by  bargaining  over  the 
round  table  are  becoming  fairly  common  in  the  Bay  area,  particularly 
in  the  water-front  industry,  where  both  labor  and  employers  are  strongly 
organized.  Sometimes  these  conferences  are  as  dramatic  in  their  own 
way  as  the  strikes  or  lockouts  which  they  often  supplant.  Union  men 
and  employers,  at  the  appointed  hour,  crowd  into  the  room,  which  more 
often  than  not  is  located  in  one  of  the  city's  most  modern  office  build- 
ings. Opponents  may  exchange  guarded  jokes.  Brief  cases  are  tossed 
on  a  table  liberally  supplied  with  ash  trays.  Debate  is  conducted  with 
an  alertness  that  demands  frequent  nervous  lighting  of  cigar  or  cigaret. 
The  press  is  often  admitted.  If  an  agreement  is  reached,  its  terms 
become  big  news,  splashed  at  once  across  the  front  pages  of  the  city's 
newspapers.  When  there  is  a  deadlock,  newspaper  editors  offer  their 
own  alternatives  in  front  page  editorials.  Citizens  write  letters  to  their 
favorite  papers  suggesting  solutions  which  are  printed  in  the  public 
forum  columns.  Columnists  and  radio  commentators  discuss  the  issues. 
Heated  debates  break  out  on  the  early  morning  streetcars. 

Twice  in  recent  years  a  water-front  dispute  has  been  taken  to  the 
general  public  by  means  of  "town  meetings"  held  in  the  Civic  Audi- 
torium and  attended  by  thousands.  There  employers  and  union  repre- 
sentatives debated  from  the  platform  and  their  talks  were  broadcast 
over  extensive  radio  hookups.  The  audience  often  was  as  partisan  as 
the  chief  participants,  but  a  general  good  humor  prevailed. 

The  city's  union  consciousness  had  its  beginning  in  the  days  of  the 
Gold  Rush.  "There  are  evidences  of  such  early  trade  union  activity  in 
San  Francisco,"  writes  Lucille  Eaves,  "that  one  is  tempted  to  believe 


SAN     FRANCISCANS     AT     WORK       121 

that  the  craftsmen  met  each  other  on  the  way  to  California  and  agreed 
to  unite."  At  least  one  instance  proves  the  point:  in  1864,  when  the 
Employers'  Association  of  San  Francisco,  attempting  to  smash  a  strike 
of  iron  molders,  wired  East  for  strikebreakers,  the  unions  dispatched 
representatives  to  Panama  who  met  the  men  hired  to  take  their  jobs; 
when  the  ship  docked  in  San  Francisco  all  walked  ashore  as  union 
brothers.  Among  the  men  who  came  to  San  Francisco  were  many  from 
countries  of  Europe  where  the  struggle  for  unions  already  had  been  in 
progress  for  many  long  years. 

To  combat  an  exorbitant  cost  of  living,  the  unorganized  carpenters 
and  joiners  struck  in  1849,  demanding  a  wage  increase,  which  they  won. 
Before  a  year  had  passed  the  San  Francisco  Typographical  Society  had 
been  organized  as  the  first  bona  fide  trade  union  on  the  coast.  Team- 
sters, musicians,  riggers  and  stevedores,  and  building  trades  workers 
soon  followed  suit.  These  early  unions,  organized  on  the  basis  of  im- 
mediate demands,  appeared  and  disappeared  in  bewildering  variety  until 
the  campaigns  for  the  eight-hour  day  and  against  the  competition  of 
cheap  Chinese  labor  supplied  rallying  points  around  which  all  could 
unite  with  some  degree  of  permanence. 

The  Chinese,  accustomed  to  a  low  standard  of  existence  in  their 
homeland,  were  employed  here  in  many  trades  at  a  wage  much  lower 
than  the  Occidentals  could  afford  to  accept.  The  thousands  of  coolies 
who  helped  build  the  first  railroad  across  the  American  continent  were 
paid  as  little  as  $30  a  month.  When  the  railroad  was  completed,  they 
flocked  to  San  Francisco.  In  1872  it  was  estimated  they  comprised 
nearly  half  of  all  the  factory  workers  in  the  city.  Occidental  workers 
feared  and  resented  the  competition  of  this  cheap  labor.  To  combat  it, 
they  joined  in  an  anti-Chinese  campaign  that  sometimes  found  outlet  in 
violence.  It  led  finally  to  adoption  of  the  Chinese  Exclusion  Act  by 
the  State  legislature  in  the  i88o's.  Although  anti-Chinese  sentiment 
was  widespread  for  many  years  after,  the  admission  of  Chinese  to  mem- 
bership in  a  number  of  unions  during  recent  years  has  marked  its  passing. 
A  strike  here  of  Chinese  girls,  members  of  the  International  Ladies 
Garment  Workers  Union,  gained  Nation-wide  notice  in  1937  when  the 
attractive  and  dainty  women  pickets  were  pictured  in  the  press  of  the 
country. 

Out  of  the  turbulence  of  the  anti-Chinese  movement  arose  Dennis 
Kearney,  one-time  vigilante  and  opportunist  extraordinary.  For  a  time 
his  violent  talks,  made  on  the  sand  lots  in  what  is  now  the  Civic  Center, 
captured  the  imagination  of  thousands.  Opposed  to  him  was  a  sincere 
young  Irishman,  a  Fenian  exile,  named  Frank  Roney.  The  group 
around  Roney  succeeded  in  discrediting  Kearney,  who  retired  to  private 
trade  to  be  heard  from  no  more.  But  Roney  continued  an  active  mem- 


122      SAN     FRANCISCO 

her  of  the  trade  union  movement  for  many  years.  He  organized  the 
Seamen's  Protective  Association  and  became  its  president. 

Largely  because  of  Roney's  work  the  Trades  Assembly,  a  city-wide 
group,  succeeded  in  doubling  its  membership.  His  plan  of  organizing 
unions  into  trade  councils  was  later  to  be  adopted  on  a  national  scale  by 
the  AFL.  When  the  Trades  Assembly  sent  delegates  to  a  convention 
of  the  Federated  Trades  and  Labor  Union  of  the  United  States  (which 
later  became  the  American  Federation  of  Labor),  held  in  1881,  San 
Francisco  labor  for  the  first  time  became  affiliated  with  an  organization 
national  in  scope. 

Always  the  lot  of  American  seamen  had  been  a  hard  one,  and  San 
Francisco  was  known  as  one  of  the  world's  toughest  ports.  It  was 
common  for  a  seaman  ashore  after  a  long  trip,  his  wages  in  his  pocket, 
to  buy  a  drink  at  one  of  the  many  saloons — and  wake  up  next  morning 
aboard  a  vessel  bound  for  Shanghai.  The  practice  of  kidnapping  was  so 
common  that  the  term  "shanghai"  was  applied  to  it.  Against  such 
abuses  the  Seamen's  Protective  Association  fought. 

A  fight  against  wage  cuts  in  1885  resulted  in  formation  of  the  Coast 
Seamen's  Union.  From  this  organization  came  the  ascetic  Norwegian, 
Andrew  Furuseth.  Emotional,  sharp-featured,  and  extremely  energetic, 
Furuseth,  who  later  was  known  simply  as  "Old  Andy,"  spent  most  of 
his  life  with  the  seamen.  He  was  credited  with  knowing  more  about 
sea  law  than  any  other  man  alive.  In  his  later  years  he  helped  unite 
American  seamen  into  the  International  Seamen's  Union,  comprising 
sailors,  firemen,  and  cooks  and  stewards.  Aided  by  Senator  Robert  M. 
LaFollette  in  1915,  he  succeeded  in  securing  passage  of  the  Seamen's 
Act,  a  Magna  Carta  of  liberation  for  these  men. 

The  Employers'  and  Manufacturers'  Association  of  San  Francisco, 
newly  organized,  opposed  unionization  in  a  campaign  that  took  real 
effect  as  the  depression  of  1893  reached  its  depths.  As  union  member- 
ship dropped  to  a  mere  4,500,  at  least  35,000  jobless  workers  tramped 
the  streets  of  the  city  in  search  of  food  and  work.  In  1894  tne  Amer- 
ican Railway  Unions  struck  against  the  Pullman  Company  in  Chicago. 
Trains  stopped  and  trans-Bay  ferry  service  was  paralyzed  for  ten  days. 
Federal  troops  marched  into  San  Francisco.  In  Oakland  citizens  raided 
roundhouses  to  extinguish  fires  in  the  locomotives.  At  this  time,  too, 
the  Bay  area  contingent  of  the  famous  Coxey's  Army  was  organized. 
Under  the  command  of  "General"  Charles  T.  Kelley  the  unemployed 
army,  credited  with  superior  discipline,  sought  refuge  for  a  few  days  in 
Oakland,  then  started  on  the  long  box-car  ride  across  the  continent. 

Meanwhile  the  men  on  the  water  front  had  organized  the  City 
Front  Federation.  Several  times  before  similar  federations  had  been 
organized,  notably  the  Wharf  and  Wave  Federation  in  1888  and  the 
City  Front  Labojr  Council  in  1891.  But  the  City  Front  Federation 


SAN     FRANCISCANS     AT     WORK       123 

was  the  strongest  yet  to  be  formed;  it  was,  in  fact,  one  of  the  best- 
organized  groups  of  its  kind  in  the  country  at  that  time.  As  the  depres- 
sion gradually  became  history,  other  union  groups  began  to  show  signs 
of  life.  Particularly  in  the  building  trades  did  the  organizing  campaign 
show  results.  In  December,  1900,  the  Central  Labor  Council  called  a 
convention  of  California  unions  at  which  a  State  Federation  of  Labor 
was  formed.  At  the  same  time  a  State  Building  Trades  Council  was 
set  up  with  P.  H.  McCarthy  as  president,  an  office  he  held  continuously 
until  1922.  Employers,  too,  were  organizing.  They  built  a  new  asso- 
ciation, raised  a  huge  war  chest,  and  instituted  a  boycott  against  re- 
calcitrants who  recognized  union  groups.  The  new  association  operated 
secretly. 

In  1901  trouble  developed  between  the  teamsters  and  the  Draymen's 
Association  that  rapidly  developed  into  a  lockout.  When  the  City 
Front  Federation  came  to  the  aid  of  the  teamsters,  Bay  area  traffic  was 
tied  up.  After  a  deadlock  lasting  two  months,  Governor  Henry  T. 
Gage  came  to  San  Francisco  and  arranged  a  meeting  between  employers 
and  workers.  A  compromise  was  effected  within  an  hour,  the  terms  of 
which  never  were  made  public.  The  teamsters  became  a  powerful 
segment  of  organized  labor.  Under  the  leadership  of  a  broad-shouldered 
Irishman,  Michael  Casey,  they  branched  out  into  fields  hitherto  un- 
touched by  unions.  But  the  City  Front  Federation,  wracked  by  in- 
ternal dissension,  declined  in  importance.  Sailors,  however,  emerged  in 
possession  of  a  new  agreement  with  shipowners. 

The  labor  unions,  angered  by  what  they  considered  unnecessary 
police  violence  during  the  teamster  struggle,  formed  the  Union  Labor 
Party.  Aided  by  Father  Yorke,  Catholic  priest  and  intimate  friend  of 
Jack  London,  the  new  party  succeeded  in  gaining  the  election  of  Eugene 
Schmitz,  a  member  of  the  Musicians'  Union,  as  mayor.  Three  labor 
men  were  elected  to  the  Board  of  Supervisors.  But  Schmitz  became  the 
puppet  of  Abe  Ruef,  shrewd  political  boss,  and  graft,  corruption  and 
bribery  flourished.  Ruef,  Schmitz,  and  the  supervisors  were  indicted 
by  the  grand  jury  in  a  reform  wave  that  followed  the  1906  earthquake. 
Ruef  went  to  prison,  but  his  henchmen  and  backers  went  free.  Patrick 
Calhoun,  head  of  the  street  railway  corporation,  which  had  been  im- 
plicated in  the  bribery  exposures,  engineered  a  strike  of  the  streetcar 
workers.  Andrew  Furuseth,  Mike  Casey,  and  Fremont  Older  attempted 
to  halt  the  strike  but  were  unsuccessful.  When  Calhoun  imported 
strikebreakers  who  terrorized  the  carmen,  it  appeared  he  had  saved  the 
city,  an  impression  he  deliberately  had  set  out  to  create.  The  carmen's 
union  was  demoralized. 

Meanwhile  P.  H.  McCarthy  of  the  building  trades  unions  had 
forged  to  the  front.  In  1909  he  was  elected  mayor.  Under  his  leader- 
ship the  Building  Trades  Council  built  its  own  mills  and  enforced  a 


124      SAN     FRANCISCO 

boycott  against  mills  outside  the  city,  mills  with  wage  rates  lower  than 
those  of  San  Francisco. 

When  the  longshoremen  struck  in  1916  for  higher  wages,  the  em- 
ployers and  the  Chamber  of  Commerce  organized  the  Law  and  Order 
Committee  and  issued  a  lengthy  manifesto  calling  for  unity  of  San 
Francisco's  citizens.  The  Law  and  Order  Committee  succeeded  in 
getting  the  city  to  pass  an  anti-picketing  ordinance.  Meanwhile,  the 
war  in  Europe  had  begun  to  affect  this  country,  which  at  the  same  time 
was  engaged  in  a  punitive  expedition  against  Mexico.  The  atmosphere 
was  tense.  As  anti-German  sentiment  grew,  people  were  seeing  spies 
behind  every  telephone.  The  city  planned  to  hold  a  parade  in  favor  of 
preparedness. 

The  parade,  held  July  22,  1916,  had  hardly  gotten  under  way  when 
a  bomb  exploded  at  Steuart  and  Market  Streets,  killing  ten  persons  and 
injuring  many  more.  Newspapers  demanded  the  arrest  of  those  guilty 
of  the  outrage.  Among  those  arrested  were  Thomas  J.  Mooney  and 
Warren  K.  Billings,  both  of  whom  were  convicted. 

Labor  in  California  and  throughout  the  United  States  was  convinced 
that  the  two  men  were  innocent.  When  repeated  protests  of  world-wide 
scope  caused  President  Woodrow  Wilson  to  request  Governor  William 
D.  Stevens  to  exercise  leniency,  Mooney's  death  sentence  was  commuted 
to  one  of  life  imprisonment.  Later  investigations  disclosed  irregularity  in 
the  conduct  of  the  trial,  in  the  handling  and  testimony  of  witnesses,  and 
in  the  treatment  of  the  jury.  Judge  Griffin,  in  whose  court  the  trial  had 
been  held,  declared  in  1929:  "The  Mooney  case  is  one  of  the  dirtiest1 
jobs  ever  put  over  and  I  resent  the  fact  that  my  court  was  used  for  such 
a  contemptible  piece  of  work."  As  time  wore  on  Mooney — and  Billings 
— became,  for  labor,  symbols  of  injustice,  until  Governor  Culbert  Olson, 
fulfilling  a  campaign  promise,  was  able  to  pardon  Mooney  and  aid  in 
securing  the  release  of  Billings. 

In  1921  San  Francisco  employers  again  drew  closer  together,  form- 
ing the  Industrial  Association.  The  building  trades  unions  lost  ground 
when  faced  with  the  strong  opposition  of  the  new  employer  group. 
Metal  trades  workers  and  seamen  lost  strikes  in  1921;  carpenters,  in 
1926.  Longshoremen,  since  1919,  had  been  obligated  to  become  mem- 
bers of  the  Longshoremen's  Association  of  San  Francisco,  an  organiza- 
tion they  considered  to  be  under  employer  domination.  They  called  it 
the  "Blue  Book  Union,"  deriving  the  name  from  the  color  of  the 
membership  books.  The  Industrial  Association  maintained  an  employ- 
ment office,  a  hotel  for  non-union  workers,  and  a  training  school  for 
non-union  plasterers,  bricklayers,  plumbers,  and  carpenters.  The  only 
labor  organizations  that  did  not  suffer  from  the  general  intertia  that 
swept  the  city's  trade  union  movement  during  this  period  were  the 
Railway  Brotherhoods.  A  Brotherhood  bank  was  established  in  San. 


SAN     FRANCISCANS     AT     WORK      125 

Francisco  which  merged  with  a  non-labor  bank  after  the  collapse  of  the 
national  Brotherhood's  banking  system. 

The  depression  beginning  in  1929  further  weakened  the  organized 
labor  movement  until  union  sentiment  began  to  revive  with  the  passage 
of  the  National  Recovery  Act.  The  men  on  the  water  front  were 
among  the  first  to  take  advantage  of  Section  y-a  of  the  act,  dealing  with 
labor  organization.  The  longshoremen  secured  a  charter  under  the 
International  Longshoremen's  Association  of  the  AFL  and,  spurred  by 
the  pungent  criticism  and  organizational  appeals  of  an  anonymously 
sponsored  mimeograph  bulletin,  fully  90  per  cent  of  the  dock  workers 
joined  the  ILA.  Harry  Bridges,  wiry  Australian  longshoreman,  came 
to  the  front  as  a  leader  and  spokesman  for  the  new  group.  A  coastwise 
longshoremen's  convention  was  held  in  1934  and  demands  were  made 
upon  the  shipowners.  Subsequently  a  strike  vote  was  taken. 

On  the  morning  of  May  9  longshoremen  in  San  Francisco  and  other 
Coast  ports  walked  off  the  docks  in  what  was  to  be  one  of  the  most 
dramatic  struggles  in  the  history  of  West  Coast  labor.  On  May  13 
the  teamsters,  despite  opposition  of  their  leadership,  voted  unanimously 
against  hauling  cargo  to  or  from  the  docks.  On  May  15  the  seamen 
joined  the  strike,  presenting  their  own  demands  to  the  employers;  licensed 
officers  followed  suit.  The  newspapers  reported  that  on  May  15,  for 
the  first  time  in  the  history  of  Pacific  Coast  ports,  not  a  freighter  left 
port.  Events  were  rapidly  approaching  a  climax  when  the  Industrial 
Association  announced  to  the  public  that  the  port  would  be  opened  on 
July  5- 

As  the  morning  of  July  5  dawned,  strikers  and  police  massed  in  great 
numbers  at  the  pier  from  which  cargo  was  to  be  hauled  by  non-union 
truck  drivers.  The  pickets  who  attempted  to  approach  the  pier  were 
forced  back  repeatedly  by  police.  At  Rincon  Hill  south  of  Market 
Street  a  pitched  battle  occurred  between  police  and  strikers.  Two 
strikers  were  killed  during  the  day  and  many  were  taken  to  the  hospital 
suffering  from  wounds  and  tear  gas.  A  few  hours  later  the  National 
Guard  moved  into  the  city  and  took  over  the  water  front. 

July  5,  now  memorialized  by  the  water-front  unions  each  year  under 
the  name  of  "Bloody  Thursday,"  crystallized  sentiment  for  a  city-wide 
general  strike  in  sympathy  with  the  maritime  unions.  Union  after  union 
voted  to  go  out.  On  July  17,  first  day  of  the  general  strike,  it  was 
estimated  that  127,000  San  Francisco  workers  had  left  their  jobs.  A 
peculiar  silence  descended  upon  the  city.  Market  Street,  usually  one 
of  the  busiest  streets  in  the  Nation,  appeared  deserted. 

The  general  strike  was  ended  July  20  at  the  instance  of  the  Central 
Labor  Council  and  thousands  returned  to  their  jobs.  The  water-front 
unions  remained  on  strike  for  several  days  until  their  demands  were 
given  over  to  mediation.  Eventually  they  gained  greatly  improved 


126      SAN     FRANCISCO 

working  conditions  and,  what  was  most  important  from  their  point  of 
view,  union  hiring  halls.  A  second  maritime  strike  which  tied  up  ship- 
ping along  the  entire  coast  in  1936  was  ended  in  the  first  week  of  the 
new  year  with  further  improved  working  conditions. 

The  organization  of  the  Congress  of  Industrial  Organizations  in 
1935  found  San  Francisco  sentiment  divided.  The  longshoremen  and 
their  affiliates  voted  to  join  the  new  group,  of  which  Harry  Bridges 
was  later  made  West  Coast  Director.  The  seamen  were  split;  some 
preferred  to  remain  with  the  AFL,  some  for  a  while  maintained  an 
independent  status,  and  some  joined  the  CIO.  The  effects  of  the  split 
were  felt  in  the  bitter  partisanship  which  appeared  in  the  Maritime 
Federation  of  the  Pacific,  organized  following  the  1934  strike.  But  a 
strong  and  deeply  rooted  sentiment  for  unity  in  times  of  crisis  prevented 
disintegration. 

During  the  1938  gubernatorial  campaign  in  California  organized 
labor  united  in  San  Francisco,  pointing  the  way  for  the  rest  of  the  State 
in  supporting  candidates  and  issues  favorable  to  the  unions.  Culbert 
Olson,  the  union-backed  candidate,  won  the  election.  A  State  anti- 
picketing  measure  was  voted  down  by  a  large  majority.  John  F.  Shelley, 
president  of  the  AFL  Central  Labor  Council,  who  was  elected  State 
senator  from  San  Francisco,  perhaps  described  the  position  of  organized 
labor  in  the  Bay  area  when  he  said :  "When  San  Francisco  labor  is  faced 
with  a  concrete  issue,  it  will  unite." 

In  1939  the  major  employers  of  the  city  organized  an  Employers' 
Council  for  the  purpose  of  dealing  unitedly  with  the  unions.  When 
Almon  E.  Roth,  chosen  to  head  the  group,  took  over  his  duties,  he  told 
the  newspapers  that  "San  Francisco  actually  has  had  fewer  strikes  and 
labor  disturbances  in  recent  years  than  most  American  cities  of  com- 
parable size." 


Social  Heritage 


"San  Francisco  knows  how." 

— PRESIDENT   WILLIAM    HOWARD    TAFT 


OF  ALL  the  arts  San  Franciscans  have  practiced,  the  one  they 
have  most  nearly  perfected  is  the  art  of  living,  but  hedonism 
is  only  one  of  the  elements  of  which  San  Francisco's  civilized 
social  tradition  is  compounded.     Omar  Khayyam's  "Take  the  Cash  and 
let  the  Credit  go"  has  been  as  freely  accepted  for  a  motto,  perhaps,  as 
his  "jug  of  wine"  and  "loaf  of  bread" — and  more  freely  than  the  spirit- 
ual precepts  of  the  city's  official  patron,  the  gentle  St.  Francis. 

Yet  all  through  this  materialism  runs  a  fugitive  thread  of  humani- 
tarian tenderness;  a  reverence  for  culture,  often  uncritical;  a  funda- 
mental urbanity.  Every  viewpoint  has  had  its  say  in  the  city's  long 
succession  of  journals  and  newspapers.  Enriched  also  by  this  democratic 
quality  is  the  whole  history  of  the  city's  devotion  to  the  theater,  to  musi- 
cal performances  and  art  exhibits,  to  restaurants  and  cabarets  and  bars. 
Where  so  much  of  living  has  vitalized  a  popular  culture,  the  social 
heritage  is  bound  to  have  a  special  richness. 

HIGH  LIFE  AND  LOW  LIFE 

A  "sort  of  world's  show  of  humanity" — such  was  that  San  Francisco1 
which  so  impressed  the  visiting  Britisher,  J.  D.  Borthwick,  in  1851, 
with  its  "immense  amount  of  vitality  compressed  into  a  small  compass." 
Around  the  same  table  in  the  gambling  saloons  he  found  "well-dressed, 
respectable-looking  men,  and,  alongside  of  them,  rough  miners  fresh 
from  the  diggings,  with  well-filled  buckskin  purses,  dirty  old  flannel 
shirts,  and  shapeless  hats;  jolly  tars  half-seas  over  .  .  .  Mexicans 
wrapped  up  in  their  blankets  smoking  cigaritas  .  .  .  Frenchmen  in 
their  blouses  smoking  black  pipes;  and  little  urchins,  or  little  scamps 
rather,  ten  or  twelve  years  of  age,  smoking  cigars  as  big  as  them- 
selves .  .  ."  Along  the  streets,  old  miners  were  to  be  seen  loafing  about 
"in  all  the  glory  of  mining  costume  .  .  .  Troops  of  newly  arrived  • 
Frenchmen  marched  along  .  .  .  their  persons  hung  around  with  tin 
cups,  frying-pans,  coffee-pots,  and  other  culinary  utensils  .  .  .  Crowds 
of  Chinamen  were  also  to  be  seen,  bound  for  the  diggings,  under  gigan- 
tic basket-hats  .  .  ." 

After  the  first  rush  to  the  mines,  most  of  this  mob  of  immigrants 
returned  to  San  Francisco  to  stay.     Careless  of  the  professions  to  which 

12  7 


128       SAN     FRANCISCO 

they  had  been  trained,  doctors  and  dentists  became  draymen,  barbers, 
or  shoeblacks.  Lawyers  and  brokers  turned  waiters  or  auctioneers  or 
butchers;  merchants  became  laborers  and  laborers,  merchants.  Any  and 
all  of  them  kept  lodginghouses  and  gambling  saloons,  speculated  in  real 
estate  and  merchandise — always  ready  to  embark  on  some  new  enter- 
prise. 

Not  without  reason  did  the  Argonauts  boast  that  no  coward  ever 
started  for  California  and  no  weakling  ever  got  there.  The  Gold  Rush 
was  composed  almost  entirely  of  young  men,  many  in  their  'teens,  with 
a  lust  for  adventure  as  strong  as  their  lust  for  fortune.  In  this  adven- 
turers' paradise,  ladies  of  joy  reveled  in  a  degree  of  latitude  rarely 
heard  of  in  American  history.  While  cribs  and  brothels  catered  to  the 
unfastidious,  more  sumptuous  parlors  enticed  the  discriminating.  When 
"the  Countess,"  San  Francisco's  leading  courtesan  of  1849,  opened  her 
establishment,  she  sent  cards  of  invitation  to  the  town's  leading  citizens, 
not  excluding  the  clergy.  Full  dress  was  the  rule  at  this  fasionable 
rendezvous,  and  six  ounces  of  gold  dust,  or  $96,  was  the  price  of  an 
evening's  entertainment. 

Any  talents  used  to  entertain  the  public  were  handsomely  appre- 
ciated. Dr.  D.  G.  Robinson,  part-owner  of  the  Dramatic  Museum, 
was  elected  alderman  in  1851  to  reward  him  for  the  pleasure  he  had 
given  by  renditions  of  his  "Random  Rhymes."  No  one  thought  it 
strange  in  1849  when  the  Commissioner  of  Deeds,  Stephen  C.  Massett, 
resigned  from  his  job  to  compose  songs  and  to  give  recitations  and 
imitations.  A  strolling  piper  with  "cymbal,  triangle,  accordion  and 
bass-drum"  gathered  a  "harvest,"  and  "Dancing  Billy"  earned  enough 
to  buy  drinks  all  around  each  time  he  stopped,  and  was  able  to  pay  his 
musician  $50  an  hour.  The  musicians  "blew  and  scraped,  thrummed 
and  drummed,  jingled  and  banged  throughout  the  live-long  day  and 
night." 

In  every  saloon  were  tables  for  monte  and  other  card  games,  or  for 
rondo  and  roulette  and  chuck-a-luck.  Gambling  facilities  were  the  main 
source  of  revenue  in  all  hotels.  Merchants  had  to  bid  against  their 
operators  for  places  to  do  business;  the  resorts  spilled  over  onto  the 
wharves.  Most  of  the  gold  which  miners  brought  to  town  made  its 
final  disappearance  over  the  tables,  for  the  men  had  a  superstition  that 
it  was  bad  luck  not  to  be  flat  broke  when  they  started  back  to  the  mines. 

In  1853,  the  editors  of  the  Christian  Advocate  made  a  survey  of  the 
town  and  "found,  by  actual  count,  the  whole  number  of  places  where 
liquor  is  sold  in  this  city  to  be  five  hundred  and  thirty-seven."  Of 
these,  125  places  did  not  even  "keep  an  onion  to  modify  the  traffic." 
Forty-eight  were  "dance-houses  and  such  like,  where  Chinese,  Mexi- 
cans, Chilean,  and  other  foreign  women  are  assembled."  Contemporary 
writers  describe  the  saloons  as  "glittering  like  fairy  palaces."  The 


SOCIAL     HERITAGE      I2Q 

outlying  taverns  were  spoken  of  with  no  less  warmth:  "A  jolly  place 
to  lounge  in  easy,  ricketty,  old  China  cane  chairs  and  on  bulgy  old 
sofas"  was  MacClaren's,  on  the  lane  to  the  Mission.  Little  inns  with 
similar  charm  were  strung  along  all  the  rural  roads. 

On  Sunday,  the  Spanish  village  at  the  Mission  was  aglitter  with 
the  silver  trappings  of  hitched  horses,  whose  owners,  having  ridden  out 
from  the  commercial  settlement,  were  spending  the  day  in  the  Spanish 
taverns.  The  Russ  Gardens,  along  the  Mission  Road,  were  taken  over 
on  holidays  and  Sundays  by  national  groups  who  "leaped,  balanced  and 
twirled,  danced,  sang,  smoked  and  made  merry." 

Though  the  1850*5  saw  no  abatement  in  gambling,  drinking,  and 
carousing,  the  more  discriminating  element  of  the  population  was  gradu- 
ally withdrawing  from  the  more  popular  saloons  and  restaurants.  New 
hotels  and  cafes  were  being  established  to  meet  their  demands.  The 
Parker  House  with  its  elegant  appointments,  its  apple  toddy,  and  its 
painting  of  Eugenia  and  Her  Maids  of  Honor,  vied  for  popularity  with 
the  Pisco  Punch  and  the  Samson  and  Delilah  of  the  Bank  Exchange. 
Around  these,  the  Tehama,  and  the  St.  Francis  gathered  those  who 
were  groping  toward  refinement  and  that  privacy  which  their  lack  of 
homes  denied  them.  Private  gambling  dens  were  set  up  and  a  process 
of  social  selection  began. 

Steve  Whipple's  gambling  house  on  Commercial  Street  was  trans- 
formed, in  1850,  into  the  first  gentlemen's  club,  its  clientele  girded  in 
swallowtails  and  flashing  diamond  cuff  links.  Such  devices  for  "draw- 
ing the  line"  were  not  without  painful  consequences  to  that  spirit  of 
camaraderie  which  the  average  forty-niner  had  naively  come  to  expect  of 
his  fellow  men.  An  anecdote  of  this  period  tells  of  a  miner,  wearing 
the  rough  clothes  of  the  "diggings,"  who  wandered  inside  and  was 
politely  informed  by  a  waiter  that  he  had  strayed  into  a  private  club. 

"A  private  club,  eh?"  retorted  the  miner.  "Well,  this  used  to  be 
Steve  Whipple's  place  and  I  see  the  same  old  crowd  around!" 

Nevertheless,  San  Francisco's  leading  citizens  were  determined  to 
create  some  kind  of  orderly  and  civilized  social  pattern;  and  this  tre- 
mendous task  was  finally  solved  by  elevating  the  saloon,  the  cafe,  and 
the  theatre  to  places  of  social  distinction.  Even  before  1851  there  had 
been  attempts  to  stage  decorous  balls  and  parties  where  "fancy  dress" 
was  required,  but  even  the  most  successful  of  these  affairs  could  not 
attract  more  than  25  ladies.  A  record  was  set  in  June,  1851,  by  the 
attendance  of  30  fair  maidens  at  the  first  of  a  series  of  soirees  given  at 
the  St.  Francis;  and  when  60  ladies  showed  up  at  the  July  soiree,  the 
newspapers  commended  the  St.  Francis  for  the  "social  service"  it  had 
rendered. 

But  this  hotel  (which  also  first  introduced  bed  sheets  to  the  city) 
was  to  be  the  scene  of  an  even  greater  triumph.  This  was  a  grand  ball 


I3O      SAN     FRANCISCO 

organized  by  the  Monumental  Six,  the  city's  first  company  of  volunteer 
firemen,  at  which  no  less  than  500  ladies  were  present.  It  was  said 
that  California  was  ransacked  for  this  array  of  femininity,  and  that 
some  of  them  were  brought  by  pony  express  from  as  far  east  as  St. 
Joseph,  Missouri.  The  press  declared  that  at  last  "the  elements  were 
resolving  themselves  into  social  order." 

Since  the  brilliance  of  this  affair  was  not  immediately  repeated,  the 
process  of  social  cohesion  threatened  to  give  way  once  more  to  the  rough- 
shod individualism  of  the  forty-niners.  Even  the  respectable  women  of 
San  Francisco  complained  of  the  high  cost  of  party  dresses  and  avoided 
going  out  into  the  muddy  and  rat-infested  streets.  The  men  started 
attending  the  theater,  but  it  offered  little  attraction.  The  rainy  season 
set  in  and  brought  monotony  to  the  city  which,  until  then,  had  never 
known  a  dull  moment. 

In  this  social  emergency,  some  enterprising  individuals  hit  upon  the 
idea  of  presenting  a  series  of  "promenade  concerts."  "A  large  crowd 
was  present  on  the  first  evening,  but  .  .  .  there  were  no  ladies  present 
to  join  in  the  ball  at  the  close  of  the  concert;  and  such  a  scene  as  was 
presented  when  the  dancing  commenced  beggars  description.  .  .  .  The 
music  commenced;  it  was  a  polka;  but  no  one  liked  to  venture.  At 
last  two  individuals,  evidently  determined  to  start  the  thing,  ladies  or 
no  ladies,  grappled  each  other  in  the  usual  way  .  .  .  and  commenced 
stumping  it  through  the  crowd  and  around  the  hall  ...  As  dance- 
after  dance  was  announced  more  and  more  joined  in,  until  ...  the 
whole  floor  [was]  covered  with  cotillions  composed  entirely  of  men, 
with  hats  on,  balancing  to  each  other,  chassezing,  everyone  heartily 
enjoying  the  exhilarating  dance  .  .  ."  Whether  or  not  the  affair  was  a 
"failure,"  as  McCabe's  Journal  called  it,  the  promenade  concerts  were 
abandoned. 

What  civic-minded  San  Franciscans  could  never  quite  accomplish 
in  the  battle  for  social  cohesion  was  brought  about  by  natural  and  dire 
necessity.  As  a  result  of  the  conflagrations  that  had  almost  destroyed 
the  city  on  six  successive  occasions,  there  had  sprung  up  a  number  of 
companies  of  volunteer  firemen,  to  which  it  was  generally  considered 
an  honor  to  belong.  A  parade  of  San  Francisco's  firemen  was  the  occa- 
sion for  the  whole  State  to  go  on  a  Roman  holiday.  Preceded  by  blar- 
ing bands  and  the  gleaming  engines  decked  with  flags,  the  parades 
stretched  a  mile  in  length.  Each  fireman  marched  proudly  to  the 
martial  music,  attired  magnificently  in  his  red  shirt  and  white  muffler, 
his  shiny  black  helmet,  and  his  trousers  upheld  by  a  broad  black  belt. 
Each  firehouse,  on  parade  days,  was  thrown  open  to  the  public.  The 
city's  leading  breweries  gave  kegs  of  beer,  and  other  firms  donated 
crackers,  cheese,  and  sandwiches. 

The   engine   hduses   themselves   were   furnished   as   lavishly   as   the 


SOCIAL     HERITAGE       13! 

hotels  and  restaurants  of  the  later  fifties.  Howard  Engine,  to  which 
Sam  Brannan  gave  allegiance,  was  one  of  the  most  splendid  of  them 
all  and  was  especially  noted  for  the  brilliance  of  its  social  functions. 
The  Monumental  Six  and  the  High  Toned  Twelve  might  boast  more 
elegant  houses,  but  the  "Social  Three,"  as  Howard  Engine  was  popu- 
larly known,  had  the  only  glee  club  and  the  first  piano.  Long  after- 
wards, San  Franciscans  recalled  with  pride  that  magnificent  dinner  the 
"Social  Three"  once  gave  for  the  visiting  firemen  from  Sacramento. 
The  menu  on  that  occasion,  still  preserved  in  the  M.  H.  de  Young 
Museum,  was  "of  cream  satin,  a  foot  and  a  half  long  and  a  foot  wide, 
highly  embossed,  and  elaborately  decorated  in  red,  pink,  and  blue,  the 
work  of  the  finest  ornamental  printers  in  the  city." 

So  rapidly  did  the  city  grow  that  by  1856  all  its  aspects  of  intol- 
erable crudity  had  disappeared.  Plank  sidewalks  brought  a  measure  of 
safety  to  pedestrians,  and  substantial  new  buildings  were  going  up  in 
every  street.  The  custom  of  promenading  took  hold  on  everyone;  and 
Montgomery  Street  became  for  the  next  30  years  an  avenue  filled  with 
the  endless  pageantry  that  was  old  San  Francisco. 

It  was  a  gay  and  motley  crowd  that  paraded  there  every  day  of  the 
week  in  the  1850*8  and  i86o's — a  crowd  utterly  democratic  and  uncon- 
ventional. From  the  fashionable  quarter  at  California  and  Stockton 
streets  came  the  wives  and  daughters  of  San  Francisco's  wealthy  set. 
"Tall,  finely  proportioned  women  with  bold,  flashing  eyes  and  dazzling 
white  skin"  came  from  the  half-world  of  Pike  Street  (now  Waverly 
Place).  Lola  Montez  was  known  to  pass  along  this  street,  her  bold 
admirers  kept  at  a  distance  by  the  riding-whip  she  carried.  Men  were 
still  in  the  majority;  bankers,  judges,  lawyers,  merchants,  stock  brokers, 
gamblers — all  wearing  silk  hats,  Prince  Albert  coats,  ruffled  shirts,  fancy 
waistcoats,  and  trousers  fitted  below  the  knee  to  display  the  highly 
polished  boot. 

Mingling  with  this  passing  show  were  strange  public  characters 
whom  everyone  accepted  as  part  of  the  parade.  "George  Washington" 
Coombs,  who  imagined  himself  to  be  the  father  of  his  country,  paraded 
the  streets  in  coat,  waistcoat,  and  breeches  of  black  velvet,  low  shoes 
with  heavy  black  buckles,  black  silk  stockings,  and  a  cocked  hat.  The 
tall  disdainful  figure  of  "The  Great  Unknown,"  clad  in  the  height  of 
fashion  and  impenetrable  mystery,  was  the  cynosure  for  all  eyes,  but 
never  was  he  known  to  stop  or  talk  to  anyone  in  the  years  he  followed 
this  solitary  course.  The  street  beggars,  "Old  Misery"  (also  known 
as  the  "Gutter  Snipe")  and  "Old  Rosey"  each  morning  appeared,  gath- 
ering odds  and  ends  from  refuse  cans — "Old  Rosey"  always  wearing  a 
flower,  usually  a  rose,  in  his  dirty  coat  lapel.  There  were  also  the  two 
remarkable  mongrels,  "Bummer"  and  "Lazarus,"  whose  relationship 


132      SAN     FRANCISCO 

transcended  ordinary  animal  affection;  together  they  trotted  the  same 
course  as  the  paraders. 

Also  allowed  a  certain  patronage  was  Oofty  Goofty,  the  "Wild 
Man  of  Borneo"  in  a  sideshow,  who  walked  the  sidewalks  of  the  Bar- 
bary  Coast,  in  a  garb  of  fur  and  feathers,  and  emitted  weird  animal 
cries.  Later  he  launched  into  new  fields,  allowing  anyone  to  kick  him 
for  10^,  hit  him  with  a  cane  or  billiard  cue  for  25^,  with  a  baseball 
bat  for  50^.  When  the  great  pugilist  John  L.  Sullivan  tried  his  luck 
with  the  bat,  Oofty  Goofty  was  sent  to  the  hospital  with  a  fractured 
spine.  After  his  recuperation,  he  engaged  in  freak  shows  as  the  com- 
panion and  lover  of  "Big  Bertha." 

The  era  was  a  heyday  of  street  preachers:  evenings  and  Sunday 
mornings  would  find  "Old  Orthodox"  and  "Hallelujah  Cox"  deliver- 
ing orations  to  accumulating  multitudes.  Stalking  them  would  be  "Old 
Crisis,"  a  vitriolic  freethinker  of  the  times,  who  would  mount  the 
rostrum  when  they  had  vacated.  The  itinerant  patent-medicine  dis- 
tributors also  did  a  thriving  business.  Of  these,  the  "King  of  Pain," 
attired  in  scarlet  underwear,  a  heavy  velour  robe,  and  a  stovepipe  hat 
decorated  with  ostrich  feathers,  rode  in  a  black  coach  drawn  by  six 
white  horses.  Found  daily  on  the  sidewalks  around  the  financial  dis- 
trict was  a  greasy  figure,  old  and  lonely,  displaying  a  large  banner 
reading,  "Money  King,  You  Can  Borrow  Money  Cheap";  he  charged 
his  borrowers  exorbitant  rates  of  interest. 

Last,  but  by  no  means  least,  came  the  Emperor  Norton  attired  in 
his  blue  Army  uniform  with  its  brass  buttons  and  gold  braid  and  his 
plumed  beaver  hat.  Everybody  knew  and  liked  this  mildly  insane  little 
Englishman,  who,  after  heavy  financial  reverses  had  wrecked  his  mind, 
styled  himself  "Norton  I,  Emperor  of  North  America  and  Protector 
of  Mexico."  For  two  decades,  traveling  from  one  part  of  the  city  to 
another,  he  saw  to  it  that  policemen  were  on  duty,  that  sidewalks  were 
unobstructed,  that  various  city  ordinances  were  enforced.  He  visited 
and  inspected  all  buildings  in  process  of  construction.  The  newspapers 
solemnly  published  the  proclamations  of  this  kindly  old  man,  and  his 
correspondence  with  European  statesman.  When  in  need  of  funds,  he 
issued  50^  bonds,  supplied  by  an  obliging  printer,  which  were  honored 
by  banks,  restaurants,  and  stores.  His  funeral,  in  1880,  was  one  of  the 
most  impressive  of  the  times,  with  more  than  30,000  attending  the  cere- 
mony in  the  old  Masonic  Cemetery.  When,  only  a  few  years  ago,  his 
remains  were  removed  to  Woodlawn  Cemetery,  down  the  Peninsula, 
an  infantry  detachment  fired  a  military  salute,  and  "taps"  were  blown 
over  his  grave. 

The  "golden  sixties"  saw  the  flowering  of  a  Western  culture, 
wherein  the  uncouth,  violent  San  Francisco  of  Gold  Rush  days  evolved 
to  the  tune  of  Strauss  waltzes  and  polite  salutations  from  carriage  win- 


SOCIAL     HERITAGE       133 

dows;  and  the  grand  social  events  of  the  Civil  War  period  brought 
to  the  Oriental  Hotel,  the  Lick  House,  and  the  St.  Francis  a  social 
pageantry,  splendid  and  refined.  The  tobacco-spitting,  gun-toting  forty- 
niner  was  being  taken  in  hand  by  such  arbiters  of  propriety  as  Mrs. 
Hall  McAllister  and  Mrs.  John  Parrott.  Nouveau  riche  citizens  of 
Northern  sympathies  were  succumbing  to  the  gracious  mode  of  living 
taught  by  the  Secessionists.  The  aristocratic  Southern  set,  which  in- 
sisted on  a  certain  formality,  could,  however,  always  forgive  those  who 
violated  its  discipline  with  charm  and  wit  and  good  taste.  Gradually 
the  fashionable  parade  of  carriages  outshone  the  promenade  of  Mont- 
gomery Street;  and  the  exodus  toward  Market  Street  began,  which 
was  to  erase  the  most  distinguished  feature  of  San  Francisco  as  the 
city  of  the  Argonauts.  But  it  was  in  the  large  ball  rooms  of  private 
homes  that  the  magnificence  of  San  Francisco's  social  life  was  shown 
to  best  advantage.  Here,  seemingly  oblivious  of  the  civil  strife,  San 
Franciscans  gave  full  rein  to  their  natural  gaiety. 

The  completion  of  the  transcontinental  railroad  put  an  end  to  the 
splendid  isolation  in  which  San  Franciscans  had  reveled  for  two  decades. 
Soon  the  fantastic  wooden  castles  of  the  Big  Four  were  to  rise  on  the 
summit  of  Nob  Hill,  to  announce  to  an  astonished  citizenry  that  San 
Francisco  was  at  last  an  American  city.  "California  has  annexed  the 
United  States"  was  the  prevailing  opinion,  but  it  was  only  the  final 
and  defiant  expression  of  the  pioneer  spirit  that  refused  to  admit  its 
heyday  was  over.  With  money  running  plentifully,  society  in  the  seven- 
ties and  eighties  was  tempted  to  relax,  to  catch  what  lavish  silver-toned 
enjoyment  emerged  from  its  pompous  realm. 

Marking  the  first  official  get-together  of  writers,  artists,  and  dilet- 
tantes, the  Bohemian  Club  was  founded  in  1872,  with  quarters  on  Pine 
Street  above  the  California  Market.  Under  the  guidance  of  art-loving 
Raphael  Weill,  the  club  opened  its  portals  to  Sarah  Bernhardt  and 
Coquelin  the  Elder  and,  later,  entertained  with  elegant  breakfasts, 
luncheons,  and  dinners  in  the  Red  Room  of  its  building  at  Post  and 
Taylor  streets.  Other  notables  sampling  the  Bohemian  Club's  correct 
and  charming  hospitality,  which  was  acknowledged  to  speak  for  all 
San  Francisco,  were  Nellie  Melba,  Ellen  Terry,  Rudyard  Kipling, 
Henry  Irving,  Helena  Modjeska,  and  Ignace  Paderewski. 

During  this  era  and  the  "Gay  Nineties"  San  Francisco  was  to 
achieve  its  reputation  as  "The  Wickedest  City  in  the  World."  The 
potbellied  little  champagne  salesman,  Ned  Greenway,  led  society  through 
the  artful  steps  of  the  cotillion.  Sprightly  Lillie  Hitchcock,  as  honorary 
member  of  the  San  Francisco  Fire  Department,  aroused  disapproving 
thrills  among  smart  matrons  by  wearing  the  resplendent  badge  pre- 
sented her  by  the  Knickerbocker  5.  Returning  from  entertainment  fur- 
nished in  the  rose-tinged  Poodle  Dog  at  Bush  and  Dupont  Streets  or 


134      SAN     FRANCISCO 

from  Delmonico's,  famous  for  its  soundproof  rooms  and  discreet  waiters, 
railroad  builders  and  Comstock  financiers  chatted  of  rare  vintages  and 
made  inward  plans  for  "private"  suppers. 

Along  the  Barbary  Coast,  the  underworld  whirled  in  fantastic  steps 
to  the  rhythmic  tunes  of  banging  pianos,  banjos,  tom-toms,  and  blaring 
brass  horns.  It  was  the  era  of  checkered  suits,  derby  hats,  and  bright 
turtleneck  sweaters.  The  police  patrolled  the  district  in  pairs.  Assisted 
by  honky-tonk  pianos  grinding  out  "Franky  and  Johnny,"  gamblers 
fleeced  their  victims  with  inscrutable  calm.  From  Barbary  Coast  dives 
to  the  Hotel  St.  Francis  came  the  banjo,  with  Herman  Heller  as  orches- 
tra leader,  soon  to  be  followed  by  Art  Hickman's  introduction  of  the 
saxophone,  which  would  bring  jazz  to  the  modern  era. 

It  was  into  this  phantasmagoric  atmosphere  that  Arnold  Genthe 
brought  Anna  Pavlowa  on  a  slumming  tour.  At  the  Olympia,  a  glit- 
tering dance  hall,  she  watched  the  rhythmic  sway  of  the  dancers.  Fas- 
cinated, soon  she  and  her  partner  were  on  the  floor.  No  one  noticed 
them,  no  one  knew  who  they  were.  Feeling  the  barbaric  swing  of  the 
music,  they  soon  were  lost  in  the  oblivion  of  the  time-beats  of  the 
orchestra.  One  couple  after  another  noticed  them  and  stepped  off  the 
floor  to  watch.  Soon  they  were  the  only  dancers  left  on  the  floor, 
the  other  dancers  forming  a  circle  around  the  room,  astonished,  spell- 
bound. The  music  stopped,  Pavlowa  and  her  partner  were  finished, 
there  was  a  moment  of  silence.  Then  came  a  thunderous  burst  of  ap- 
plause, a  stamping  of  feet,  a  hurling  of  caps.  The  air  was  filled  with 
yells  of  "More!"  Pavlowa  was  in  tears. 

San  Francisco  "remembered"  the  sinking  of  the  battleship  Maine 
with  characteristic  gusto  in  1898.  While  transports  clogged  the  Bay, 
the  boys  in  blue  camped  in  the  Presidio  hills  and  daily  marched  down 
Market  Street  to  the  troopships  to  the  tunes  of  "There'll  Be  a  Hot 
Time  in  the  Old  Town  Tonight"  and  "Coon,  Coon,  Coon,  Ah  Wish 
Mah  Color  Would  Fade."  The  Spanish  War  to  San  Franciscans  was 
almost  one  continuous  fiesta.  Too  late  for  the  war,  the  battleship 
Oregon  steamed  into  the  Bay  to  celebrate  the  victory.  Public  sub- 
scription erected  a  monument  to  Admiral  Dewey  in  Union  Square. 

Soon  the  "ridiculous"  horseless  carriage  was  snorting  along  the  roads 
in  Golden  Gate  Park ;  later  it  ventured  timorously  downtown  to  frighten 
the  bearded  or  bustled  citizens,  who  viewed  the  "newfangled  contrap- 
tion" only  to  maintain  that  horse  and  cable  cars  "were  fast  enough." 

Near  the  corner  of  Powell  and  Market  streets,  in  1914,  stood  some 
of  the  most  famous  of  the  cabarets  and  taverns  in  the  West.  On 
Powell  Street  were  the  Odeon,  the  Portola  Louvre,  and  the  Techau 
Tavern.  Around  the  corner  was  the  Indoor  Yacht  Club.  On  Mason 
Street  flourished  the  Black  Cat,  the  Pousse  Cafe,  and  Marquard's,  and 
within  walking  distance  were  famous  bars,  such  as  the  Waldorf  and  the 


SOCIAL     HERITAGE       135 

Orpheum,  and  innumerable  foreign  restaurants.  While  the  graft  inves- 
tigation scandals  of  1906  had  forced  the  toning  down  of  the  city's  night 
life,  it  was  not  until  the  war  years  and  the  advent  of  Prohibition  that 
the  death  knell  of  San  Francisco's  gaiety  was  sounded. 

Most  of  the  cabarets  closed,  never  again  to  reopen.  San  Franciscans 
disdained  grape  juice  and  patronized  the  bootlegger;  they  escaped,  how- 
ever, the  curse  of  the  gangster,  who  in  most  cities  crept  in  with  tem- 
perance. The  Odeon  became  a  cafeteria,  as  did  the  Portola  Louvre. 
The  Techau  Tavern  became  a  candy  store ;  Marquard's  became  a  coffee 
shop.  Over  old  San  Francisco,  twilight  had  fallen,  from  which  it  never 
would  emerge.  San  Francisco  would  be  the  same  city  when  the  era 
of  sobriety  came  at  last  to  its  end,  but,  like  wine  in  a  bottle  once  opened, 
then  corked  and  laid  away,  its  flavor  would  be  gone. 

BEFORE  THE  FOOTLIGHTS 

Through  the  ingenuous  emotions  of  a  child  of  the  eighties,  a  famous 
San  Franciscan  has  tried  to  lay  a  finger  on  the  special  and  intrinsic 
values  that  have  caused  San  Francisco  to  be  considered  a  great  theater 
city:  "Actors  in  those  days  liked  to  go  out  to  the  Coast,  and  as  it  was 
expensive  to  get  back  and  not  expensive  to  stay  there  they  stayed  .  .  . 
Uncle  Tom's  Cabin  .  .  .  was  very  nearly  my  first  play  ...  Then  I 
enormously  remember  Booth  playing  Hamlet  but  there  again  the  only 
thing  I  noticed  ...  is  his  lying  at  the  Queen's  feet  during  the  play  .  .  . 
although  I  knew  there  was  a  play  going  on  there,  that  is  the  little  play. 
It  was  in  this  way  that  I  first  felt  two  things  going  on  at  one  time." 

The  theater-goer  here  probing  back  into  her  childhood  was  a  long- 
time resident  of  San  Francisco — Gertrude  Stein — later  associated  with 
the  stage  herself  as  the  author  of  Four  Saints  in  Five  Acts.  And  the 
conclusion  she  draws  may  be  extended  to  all  the  theater-goers  and  actors 
of  San  Francisco,  who  have  never  lost  the  feeling  of  two  things  going 
on  at  one  time:  that  active  co-operation  of  audience  and  actor. 

The  Americans  who  came  with  their  banjos  ringing  to  the  tune  of 
"O  Susanna!"  were  not  content  for  long  with  wandering  minstrelsy. 
By  the  middle  of  1849,  they  had  lined  their  pockets  with  gold,  were 
dressed  up,  and  wanted  some  place  to  go.  In  an  abandoned  school- 
house,  from  which  the  teacher  and  trustees  had  departed  for  the  mines, 
on  June  22,  1849,  Stephen  C.  Massett,  "a  stout  red-faced  little  English- 
man," adventurer  and  entertainer  who  also  called  himself  "Jeems  Pipes 
of  Pipesville,"  gave  a  one-man  performance  of  songs  and  impersona- 
tions, for  which  the  miners  were  happy  to  pay  him  more  than  $500. 
Following  Massett  came  the  first  professional  company — "h"-dropping 
Australians — who  presented  on  January  16,  1850,  Sheridan  Knowles' 
touching  drama,  The  Wife.  The  excellence  of  this  performance  may 


136      SAN     FRANCISCO 

be  judged  from  the  leading  lady's  speech,  quoted  from  another  play, 
The  Bandit  Chief:  "  'is  'eart  is  as  'ard  as  a  stone — and  I'd  rayther  take 
a  basilisk  and  wrap  'is  cold  fangs  around  me,  than  surrender  meself 
to  the  cold  himbraces  of  a  'eartless  villain!"  The  theater  was  filled 
with  curious,  excitable  miners,  who  paid  as  high  as  $5  for  admission. 
Yet  the  miners  soon  learned  to  order  such  hams  out  of  town  at  the 
pistol  point. 

The  circus  had  already  come  to  town,  even  preceding  the  Aus- 
tralians. Wandering  by  way  of  Callao  and  Lima,  the  enterprising 
Joseph  A.  Rowe  brought  his  troop  to  a  lot  on  Kearny  Street,  opening 
October  29,  1849.  Here  materialized  a  curious  phenomenon,  the  alter- 
nation of  circus  performances  with  the  tragedies  of  Shakespeare.  Rowe 
on  February  4,  1850,  put  on  Othello — the  first  of  a  long  series  of 
Shakespearean  performances. 

The  early  i85o's  were  noted  for  a  series  of  off-stage  tragedies  that 
periodically  snuffed  out  the  stage  performances.  Six  disastrous  fires 
brought  theater  buildings  down  with  the  rest  of  the  city.  In  the  period 
from  1850  to  1860,  there  were  three  Jenny  Linds,  two  Americans, 
two  Metropolitans,  two  Adelphis,  to  say  nothing  of  structures  not 
rebuilt — the  Dramatic  Museum,  the  National,  the  Theatre  of  Arts, 
the  Lyceum,  and  countless  others.  But  with  pioneer  courage  the  city 
rebuilt. 

And  struggling  through  these  fires  to  make  theater  history  in  San 
Francisco  were  Tom  Maguire  and  Dr.  David  G.  "Yankee"  Robinson — 
utterly  unlike  except  for  their  power  as  impresarios.  With  Dr.  Robin- 
son came  the  first  crude  stagecraft  and  the  first  real  satires  on  the  local 
scene.  On  July  4,  1850,  he  opened  his  Dramatic  Museum  on  Cali- 
fornia Street,  with  a  localized  adaptation  of  Seeing  the  Elephant,  a 
popular  circus  deception.  He  started  the  first  dramatic  school  in  San 
Francisco.  An  actor  himself  and  a  kind  of  playsmith,  he  was  the 
life-blood  of  his  theater.  One  of  his  plays,  The  Reformed  Drunkard, 
has  had  many  revivals  under  the  title  Ten  Nights  in  a  Barroom. 

Beginning  as  an  illiterate  cab  driver,  gambler,  and  saloon  keeper, 
Tom  Maguire  came  to  be  one  of  the  country's  great  impresarios.  This 
man,  like  the  city  itself,  was  fiery,  good-natured,  both  acquisitive  and 
generous;  ignorant,  uncouth,  eager  for  novelty  and  yet  animated  by 
a  childlike  passion  to  be  a  patron  of  "culture."  Sleight-of-hand  artists, 
opera  singers,  sensational  melodramas,  jugglers,  minstrels,  Shakespeare, 
leg-shows:  all  these  succeeded  each  other  swiftly  at  Maguire's  Opera 
House  during  its  eighteen  years  of  existence.  The  only  man  comparable 
to  him  in  his  time  was  P.  T.  Barnum. 

The  roaring  fifties  saw  a  cavalcade  of  exits  and  entrances  on  the 
San  Francisco  stage:  James  Stark,  that  ambitious  young  tragedian; 
Mrs.  Sarah  Kirb^  Stark,  his  wife,  and  a  noted  actress-manager;  the 


San  Francisco*  s  By-gone  Days 


<&<&x^^ 


. 


AMERICAN  FLAG  RAISED  AT  YERBA  BUENA  (1846) 


YERBA  BUENA  COVE  CROWDED  WITH  SHIPS  (1849) 


PANORAMA  FROM  RUSSIAN  HILL 


George  Fanning 


EXECUTION  BY  THE  SECOND  VIGILANCE  COMMITTEE  (1856) 


BUSINESS  DISTRICT  IN  1852 


ABANDONED  SHIPS  ON  WATERFRONT  PRIOR  TO  1851 


THE  FIRST  CABLE  TRAIN  H873) 


.  W.  Harris 


SHIPBUILDING  SOUTH  OF  RINCON  POINT  (1865) 


GREENWICH  STREET  CABLE  CAR  CLIMBING  TELEGRAPH  HILL  (1884) 


VALLEJO  STREET  WHARF  IN  EARLY  SIXTIES 


•BF 

CLIFF  HOUSE  (1866) 


James  Hall 


BARBARY  COAST  (1914) 


t 


i 


LOOKING  DOWN  KEARNY  STREET  TOWARD  MARKET 
GREAT  FIRE  OF  1906 


AFTERMATH 


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r  H|M  m  ii  t  finm  n  i< 
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Tin  ii'  ti  irt 


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RUINS  OF  OLD  ST.'  MARY'S  CHURCH  (1906) 


SOCIAL     HERITAGE       137 

prolific  and  talented  Chapman  family,  headed  by  William,  Caroline 
and  George;  the  perennial  Mrs.  Judah  as  Juliet's  nurse;  and  the  un- 
surpassed family  of  Booth,  magniloquent  Junius  Brutus  and  the  adoles- 
cent Edwin.  The  "Sensation  Era"  of  the  i86o's  brought  Lola  Montez, 
Adah  Isaacs  Menken,  and  Lotta  Crabtree,  those  glamor  girls  of  the 
Gold  Coast.  And  late  in  the  i86o's  came  Emily  Melville,  of  musical 
comedy  fame,  whose  subdued  style  of  the  French  school  usurped  the 
place  of  the  "sensation"  manner. 

It  was  the  "Sensation  Era"  which  saw  the  rise  of  the  melodeons  or 
variety  houses,  whose  insouciance  and  camaraderie  of  atmosphere  were 
to  be  found  nowhere  else  but  in  San  Francisco.  They  reflected  the  life 
of  the  city  as  the  more  respectable,  more  resplendent  theaters  did  not. 
The  girls  who  so  cavorted  might  be  found  variously  at  the  Bella  Union, 
Gilbert's,  and  the  other  melodeons,  in  such  extravaganzas  as  The  British 
Blondes,  The  Black  Crook,  The  Black  Rook,  or  The  Black  Rook  with 
a  Crook. 

The  "big  time"  theaters  of  the  city  came  and  went,  and  the  "inqui- 
tous"  Bella  Union  outlived  them  all,  impudently  mocking  the  preten- 
sions of  the  great.  There  were  other  melodeons:  the  Alhambra  (later 
the  Bush  Street  Theatre)  ;  Gilbert's  Melodeon  (later  the  Olympic)  ; 
the  Temple  of  Music  (later  the  Standard);  Buckley's  Adelphi;  the 
Pacific  Melodeon  and  hosts  of  others  of  less  importance.  But  of  all 
these  the  Bella  Union  was  the  prototype.  In  the  burlesques  was  the 
healthy  spirit  of  satire;  the  minstrels  alone  had  the  temerity  to  deflate 
the  balloon  pretensions  of  the  tycoon  age.  Many  of  the  performers  are 
still  remembered:  Lotta  Crabtree,  Joe  Murphy  "The  Great,"  Joseph 
and  Jeff  de  Angelis,  Eddie  Foy,  Ned  Harrigan,  Eliza  Biscaccianti,  Ned 
Buckley,  James  Herne,  and  the  incomparable  Harry  Courtaine.  A 
periodic  drunkard,  irresponsible,  incurable,  the  despair  of  managers  and 
the  delight  of  audiences,  Courtaine  always  returned  and  was  always 
forgiven  because  there  was  no  performer  like  him  in  the  city. 

The  curtain  went  up  on  a  new  era,  when  William  C.  Ralston 
opened  his  new  California  Theater  in  1869.  In  the  audience  were 
Bret  Harte,  Leland  Stanford,  James  Fair,  James  Flood,  John  Mackay, 
and  Emperor  Norton.  The  name  of  the  play  was  Money.  A  Bulletin 
reporter  said  rapturously  of  the  drop  curtain:  ".  .  .  the  lookers-on  were 
held  breathless  .  .  .  with  a  thrill  of  surprised  delight  .  .  ."  No  less 
thrilling  had  been  the  scene  outside  the  building,  where  grandes  dames 
in  full  silk  gowns  had  been  met  by  the  host,  Lawrence  Barrett.  Pres- 
ently they  heard  from  his  lips  the  dedicatory  poem — a  rapturous  in- 
coherency  from  the  pen  of  Bret  Harte. 

The  building  of  the  California  Theater  was  the  signal  for  Tom 
Maguire's  decline.  The  actors  for  whom  Ralston  built  this  sumptuous 
house,  John  McCullough  and  Lawrence  Barrett,  had  both,  ironically 


138      SAN     FRANCISCO 

enough,  been  brought  to  San  Francisco  by  Maguire.  When  his  Opera 
House,  on  Washington  Street,  now  "out  of  the  way,"  was  destroyed 
in  1873,  along  with  its  rival  Metropolitan,  Maguire  took  over  two 
theaters  in  the  Bush  Street  district.  But  the  old  magic  touch  was  gone. 
Ralston 's  entry  into  the  theatrical  world  was  the  sign  for  other  wealthy 
men  to  follow.  In  1876  E.  J.  "Lucky"  Baldwin  built  the  Baldwin 
Academy  of  Music.  Maguire,  finding  it  harder  to  raise  capital  than 
in  the  old  reckless  days,  became  manager  of  Baldwin's  Academy;  but, 
in  1882,  he  threw  up  the  sponge  and  departed  for  the  East,  never  to 
return.  With  him  departed  an  era. 

Later  houses  were  chiefly  notable  for  their  actor-managers,  the  excel- 
lent stock  companies  which  played  there,  and  the  world-famous  actors 
who  appeared:  Edwin  Booth,  Lawrence  Barrett,  Adelaide  Neilson, 
Helena  Modjeska,  John  Drew,  Maurice  Barrymore,  and  a  host  of 
others.  San  Francisco  was,  and  long  remained,  the  only  city  in  the 
United  States,  outside  of  New  York,  where  a  high-salaried  player  could 
be  assured  a  long  and  lucrative  stay. 

Probably  the  most  dramatic  incident  in  the  history  of  the  San  Fran- 
cisco theater  attended  the  production  of  The  Passion  Play  at  the  Grand 
Opera  House  in  1879.  Written  by  Salmi  Morse,  a  Jew,  it  was  an- 
nounced for  March  8  and  9,  with  James  O'Neill,  a  Catholic,  as  the 
Christus.  A  storm  of  protest  followed — mostly  from  clergymen — and 
the  Board  of  Supervisors  threatened  to  prohibit  the  performance.  They 
were  forestalled  by  the  production  of  the  play  on  March  3.  Riots 
broke  out  which  threatened  the  safety  of  any  recognizable  Jew  appear- 
ing on  the  streets.  The  production  of  the  play  continued,  however, 
with  interruptions,  until  April  21,  when  Morse  withdrew  it  "in  defer- 
ence to  public  opinion."  The  storm  so  affected  him  that  a  few  months 
later  he  took  his  own  life  in  New  York. 

The  end  of  the  century  saw  David  Belasco,  a  humble  prompter 
at  the  Baldwin  Theatre,  laying  the  foundation  for  his  career.  It  saw 
little  Maude  Adams,  aged  nine,  in  Fairfax;  Lillian  Russell,  a  youthful 
unknown,  in  Sparks  at  the  Standard ;  and  Maurice  Barrymore's  talented 
daughter,  Ethel,  with  a  company  including  John  Drew.  Adelina  Patti 
came  to  count  out  her  $5,coo  in  cash  every  night  before  going  on  the 
stage,  and  Sarah  Bernhardt,  cooing,  cursing,  and  dying  in  130  roles; 
Anna  Held  augmented  her  theatrical  prestige  with  publicity  about 
beauty  baths  in  milk;  and  Edith  Crane,  who  appeared  as  Trilby,  had 
full-sized  photographs  of  her  number  3  shoes  published  in  the  San  Fran- 
cisco papers.  And  that  same  Mauve  Decade  saw  Henry  Irving  and 
Ellen  Terry;  a  very  risque  play  at  the  Baldwin  entitled  Lady  Winder- 
mere  s  Fan;  and  Blanche  Bates  in  The  Darling  of  the  Gods.  Marie 
Dressier  came  to  dance  the  buck  and  wing,  and  Harry  Houdini  to  make 
his  mystifying  escapes. 


SOCIAL     HERITAGE       139 

All  but  one  of  the  city's  theaters,  both  elegant  and  rowdy,  were 
eliminated  at  a  single  stroke  by  the  fire  of  1906.  By  that  time  the  early 
millionaire  angels  were  dying  and  leaving  their  money  to  more  sedate 
institutions  such  as  art  galleries,  so  the  local  drama  began  its  struggle 
back  with  less  assistance  than  it  had  enjoyed  before.  The  possibility 
of  its  recovering  an  important  place  in  the  life  of  San  Franciscans  was 
doomed  by  the  advent  of  moving  pictures.  Since  then  there  have  been 
many  nights  when  no  curtain  rose  anywhere  in  a  once-great  theatrical 
town. 

In  most  of  San  Francisco's  schools  and  recreation  centers,  however, 
amateur  casts  are  unceasingly  busy  learning  lines,  making  costumes,  and 
staging  performances.  Hundreds  of  young  San  Franciscans  have  an 
exceptional  appreciation  for  the  drama  because  Maxwell  Anderson, 
hoarding  a  trunkful  of  unproduced  plays,  put  them  through  their  Shake- 
speare at  Polytechnic  High.  Many  have  worked  with  Dan  Totheroh 
in  the  Mountain  Play  on  Mount  Tamalpais.  Babies  make  their  first 
acquaintance  with  the  theater  in  fairy  stories  staged  by  The  Children's 
Theater  Association. 

The  Theater  Union,  a  permanent  amateur  organization  of  the 
socially  conscious  type,  staged  John  Steinbeck's  Of  Mice  and  Men  in 
their  Green  Street  Theater  in  the  Latin  Quarter,  long  before  that  play 
became  a  hit  on  Broadway.  In  the  fine  little  theater  in  Lincoln  Park 
overlooking  the  Golden  Gate,  Maestro  Guilo  presents  rarely  heard 
opera  bouffe.  Jack  Thomas'  Wayfarers  have  an  esthetic  slant;  Barney 
Gould's  Civic  Repertory  Theater  plays  in  the  Theater  of  the  Golden 
Bough.  The  Federal  Theater,  too,  until  closed  by  Congressional  law, 
presented  such  successes  as  Run  Little  Chilian  and  The  Swing  Mikado. 

In  every  section  of  the  city  amateur  performances  may  be  seen  regu- 
larly in  Russian,  German,  Yiddish,  Italian,  Spanish,  Greek,  Arabic, 
Czech,  Finnish,  Polish,  Japanese.  Of  professional  interest  are  the 
French  and  Chinese  theaters.  The  Gaite  Franchise,  or  Theatre  d'Art, 
of  Andre  Ferrier,  at  1470  Washington  Street,  is  the  only  permanent 
French  theater  in  America.  San  Francisco's  Chinese  theater  was  pro- 
fessional from  the  outset,  and  it  set  out  very  early — in  the  i85o's.  Two 
Chinese  theaters  now  operate  in  San  Francisco,  the  Great  China  and 
the  Mandarin — the  only  two  in  America — and  companies  still  come 
from  China  to  San  Francisco  under  special  permit. 

For  San  Franciscans  the  theater  has  never  been  a  shrine  for  the 
cult  of  indifrerentism.  Many  were  the  nights  when  Lola  Montez 
heard  cries  of  "Bravo" ;  and  many  were  the  nights  when  she  was  pelted 
with  vegetables.  The  spontaneity  of  theater  audiences  continues  to 
draw  comment  from  both  sides  of  the  footlights.  John  Hobart  of  the 
San  Francisco  Chronicle  has  stated  succinctly  San  Francisco's  distinc- 
tion as  a  theater  city :  "New  York  audiences  are  quick,  but  easily  bored ; 


I4O      SAN     FRANCISCO 

in  Chicago,  they  are  over-boisterous;  in  Boston,  they  are  over-refined; 
in  Los  Angeles,  they  are  merely  inattentive.  But  in  San  Francisco  the 
rapport  between  the  people  out  front  and  the  players  behind  the  foot- 
lights is  ideal,  for  there  is  stimulation  both  ways,  and  a  kind  of  elec- 
tricity results." 

MUSIC  MAKERS 

In  one  of  San  Francisco's  gambling  saloons,  the  El  Dorado,  a  female 
violinist,  "tasking  her  talent  and  strength  of  muscle,"  alternated  musical 
offerings  with  exhibitions  of  gymnastic  skill.  At  the  Bella  Union  five 
Mexicans  strummed  the  melodies  of  Spain.  At  the  Aguila  de  Ora  a 
group  of  well-trained  Negroes  gave  the  city's  first  performance  of 
spirituals.  Meanwhile,  from  lesser  bars  and  shanties  issued  a  cacophony 
of  singing,  stomping,  and  melodeon-playing. 

This  was  the  town  with  hundreds  of  suicides  a  year,  the  town  that 
stopped  a  theatrical  performance  to  listen  to  an  infant  crying  in  the 
audience.  It  was  the  town  of  Australia's  exiled  convicts,  of  professors 
turned  bootblacks,  of  a  peanut  vendor  wearing  a  jurists's  robes.  Men 
outnumbered  women  twelve  to  one,  had  built  a  hundred  honky-tonks 
but  only  one  school.  Here  was  humanity  suspended  in  an  emotional 
vacuum — or  what  would  have  been  a  vacuum  but  for  the  lady  gymnast 
tripping  from  trapeze  to  violin  and  the  Negroes  harmoniously  invoking 
glory.  The  demand  for  music  was  furious — and  furiously  it  was  sup- 
plied. Eventually  normal  living  conditions  were  established;  but  the 
stimulus  of  music  had  been  accepted  as  one  of  the  permanent  neces- 
sities. 

The  Gold  Rush  ballads  had  a  tranquil  prelude  in  the  Gregorian 
chant  taught  by  the  Franciscan  friars  to  the  mission  Indians.  An  ob- 
server, visiting  one  of  the  missions  in  later  years,  spoke  of  these  choirs: 
"The  Indians  troop  together,  their  bright  dresses  contrasting  with  their 
dark  and  melancholy  faces  .  .  .  They  pronounce  the  Latin  so  correctly 
that  I  could  follow  the  music  as  they  sang  .  .  ."  The  friars  next  taught 
the  Indians  to  play  the  violin,  'cello,  flute,  guitar,  cymbal,  and  triangle, 
and  their  neophytes  surprised  them  by  producing  a  lyrical  rhythm  unlike 
either  the  religious  or  secular. 

Meanwhile,  the  Spaniards  on  their  ranchos  accompanied  the  day's 
activities  with  singing.  In  the  midst  of  weaving,  cooking,  planting, 
and  riding,  the  rancheros  found  time  to  celebrate  at  seed  time  as  well 
as  at  harvest;  they  danced  at  all  three  meals.  But  the  Spaniards'  lively 
and  nostalgic  airs  were  destined  to  be  silenced  by  lusty  throats  crying 
for  gold. 

As  early  as  1849,  the  city's  cafes  began  to  cater  to  their  patrons' 
diverse  musical  tastes.  At  the  El  Dorado,  an  orchestra  "played  with- 
out cessation  music  ranging  from  Mendelssohn  and  Strauss  to  the  latest 


SOCIAL     HERITAGE       14! 

dance  trot";  and  Charley  Schultz,  who  enticed  customers  into  the  Bella 
Union  with  his  violin  and  singing,  brought  to  San  Francisco  the  Hawai- 
ian tune,  "Aloha,"  to  which  he  sang,  "You  Never  Miss  Your  Sainted 
Mother  'Till  She's  Dead  and  Gone  to  Heaven." 

More  to  the  miners'  liking  were  songs  that  celebrated  their  own 
exploits,  like  "The  Days  of  Old,  the  Days  of  Gold,  and  the  Days  of 
'49,"  first  sung  by  Charles  Benzel  (known  on  the  stage  as  Charles 
Rhodes),  who  came  with  the  Argonauts.  Another  favorite  was  "A 
Ripping  Trip,"  sung  to  the  tune  of  "Pop  Goes  the  Weasel" : 

"You  go   aboard   a   leaky  boat 

And  sail  for  San  Francisco. 
You've   got  to   pump   to   keep   her   afloat, 

You've  got  that  by  jingo. 
The   engine    soon   begins   to   squeak, 

But  nary  a  thing  to  oil  her; 
Impossible  to  stop  the  leak, 

Rip  goes  the  boiler." 

Other  concerns  of  the  miners  were  chronicled  with  "The  Happy 
Miner,"  "The  Lousy  Miner,"  "Prospecting  Dream,"  "The  Railroad 
Cars  Are  Coming,"  "What  the  Engines  Said,"  "What  Was  Your  Name 
in  the  States?"  These  ballads  were  supplemented  by  songs  brought 
from  foreign  homelands. 

But  many  citizens  soon  demanded  more  cultivated  fare.  San  Fran- 
cisco's first  concert  was  performed  at  the  California  Exchange  on 
Monday  afternoon,  December  22,  1850 — an  exquisite  execution  of 
the  classics  on  a  trombone  by  Signor  Lobero.  Shortly  after  this  the 
Louisiana  Saloon  gave  a  concert.  But  the  attempt  to  uplift  was  only 
half  successful;  later  the  Alta  California  felt  it  necessary  to  admonish 
the  audience:  "We  would  respectfully  advise  gentlemen,  if  they  must 
expectorate  tobacco  juice  in  church  or  at  the  theatre  that  they  .  .  .  eject 
it  upon  their  own  boots  and  pantaloons  .  .  ."  The  Arcade  Saloon  an- 
nounced a  series  of  "Promenade  Concerts  a  la  Julien."  The  Bella 
Union  countered  with  the  following  invitation :  "Grand  vocal  Concert 
with  Accompaniment — to  the  lovers  of  Music  of  Both  Sexes — " 

The  Germans  of  San  Francisco  contributed  their  substantial  talents 
to  the  city's  musical  development.  Turnverein  organizations  became  the 
center  and  stimulus  of  choral  societies;  by  1853,  four  German  singing 
societies  were  in  full  swing  and  had  held  their  first  May  Day  festival. 

Miska  Hauser,  Hungarian  violinist,  originated  the  first  chamber 
music  group.  His  own  words,  appearing  in  his  collected  letters,  tell  the 
story:  "The  Quartett  which  I  organized  so  laboriously  gave  me  for  a 
long  time  more  pleasure  than  all  the  gold  in  California  ...  the  Quar- 
tett in  its  perfection  as  Beethoven  saw  it,  this  mental  Quadrologue  of 
equally  attuned  souls.  .  .  .  My  viola  player  died  of  indigestion — and 


142       SAN     FRANCISCO 

for  some  time  I  will  miss  the  purest  of  all  Musical  pleasures.  .  .  .  Too 
bad  that  the  other  three  were  not  solely  satisfied  with  the  harmonies  of 
the  Beethoven  Quartett.  They  want  a  more  harmonic  attribute  of  $15 
each  for  two  hours.  .  .  ." 

Mr.  Hauser  may  have  had  some  difficulty  in  sustaining  enthusiasm 
among  his  attuned  souls,  but,  in  the  fifties  and  sixties,  opera  burst  the 
town  wide  open.  Eliza  Biscaccianti,  Catherine  Hayes,  and  Madam 
Anna  Bishop  gave  the  city  its  first  reputation  as  an  opera-loving  com- 
munity. When  Biscaccianti  opened  her  first  opera  season  on  March  22, 
1852,  at  the  American  Theatre,  there  were  more  calls  for  conveyances 
than  the  city  could  provide.  According  to  the  Alta  California  of  March 
24:  ".  .  .  the  evening  marked  an  era  in  the  musical,  social  and  fashion- 
able progress  of  the  city."  Despite  such  appreciation,  Mme.  Biscacci- 
anti returned  to  San  Francisco  six  years  later  to  find  that  her  place  had 
been  taken  by  Kate  Hayes,  press-agented  as  the  "Swan  of  Erin." 

San  Francisco  lionized  these  singers  in  a  manner  befitting  the 
legendary  heroines  whose  lives  they  portrayed.  When  Madam  Biscacci- 
anti sang  Rossini's  Stabat  Mater,  "Fire  companies  came  out  in  full 
uniform  to  honor  her  and  on  one  occasion  their  enthusiasm  was  so  great 
they  unhitched  the  horses  from  her  carriage  and  pulled  her  to  her  hotel." 
To  Miss  Hayes  also  the  volunteer  firemen  gave  undeniable  proof  of 
their  delight. 

How  the  firemen  found  time  from  drilling,  fighting  fires,  and 
attending  luminaries  to  make  music  of  their  own  is  a  record  of  in- 
genuity. Several  companies,  however,  gave  band  concerts  both  in  and 
outside  the  city.  Many  other  amateur  groups  often  augmented  pro- 
fessional offerings.  Instrumental  ensembles  and  singing  societies  were 
formed  by  immigrants  from  France,  Great  Britain,  Switzerland,  and  a 
little  later  by  Italians,  Finns,  and  other  Scandinavians.  Professional 
musicians,  amateurs,  and  audiences  were  en  rapport  during  the  invigorat- 
ing epoch  of  the  Gold  Rush.  Thus,  by  1860,  a  rich  musical  tradition 
was  well  on  its  way  to  becoming  permanent. 

The  development  of  symphony  music  was  given  its  initial  impulse  by 
Rudolph  Herold,  pianist  and  conductor,  who  came  to  California  in  1852 
as  accompanist  to  Catherine  Hayes.  The  first  of  Herold's  concerts  of 
notable  magnitude  occurred  in  1865,  when  he  conducted  an  orchestra  of 
60  pieces  at  a  benefit  concert  for  the  widows  and  children  of  two  musi- 
cians. In  1874  he  began  his  annual  series  of  symphony  concerts  with 
an  orchestra  of  50  pieces,  continued,  with  no  financial  succor  to  speak 
of,  until  1880.  After  Herold's  retirement,  symphony  concerts  were 
given  more  or  less  regularly  under  such  conductors  as  Louis  Homeier, 
Gustav  Hinrichs,  and  Fritz  Scheel.  Scheel,  who  later  founded  the 
Philadelphia  Orchestra,  was  a  musician  of  genius,  esteemed  by  such 
renowned  contemporaries  as  Brahms,  Tchaikovski,  and  Von  Biilow. 


SOCIAL     HERITAGE       143 

No  American  theater  did  so  much  to  popularize  opera  as  the  Tivoli, 
best  remembered  of  all  San  Francisco's  theaters,  which  Joe  Kreling 
opened  as  a  beer  garden  in  1875,  with  a  ten-piece  orchestra  and  Tyrolean 
singers.  Rebuilt  in  1879,  it  became  the  Tivoli  Opera  House.  Its  career 
began  happily  with  Gilbert  and  Sullivan's  Pinafore,  which  ran  for  84 
nights.  For  26  years  thereafter  it  gave  12  months  of  opera  each  year, 
never  closing  its  doors,  except  when  it  was  being  rebuilt  in  1904:  a 
record  in  the  history  of  the  American  theater.  For  eight  months  of  the 
year  light  opera — Gilbert  and  Sullivan,  Offenbach,  Van  Suppe,  Lecoq — 
was  performed,  and  for  four  months,  grand  opera,  principally  French 
and  Italian,  occasionally  Wagner.  From  the  Tivoli  chorus  rose  Alice 
Nielson,  the  celebrated  prima  donna. 

William  H.  Leahy,  familiarly  known  as  "Doc,"  who  became  man- 
ager of  the  Tivoli  in  1893,  was  a  keen  judge  of  musical  talent.  His 
greatest  "find"  was  Luisa  Tetrazzini,  whom  he  discovered  while  visiting 
Mexico  City,  where  she  was  a  member  of  a  stranded  opera  company. 
In  1905  Tetrazzini  made  her  San  Francisco  debut  at  the  Tivoli  as 
Gilda  in  Rigoletto  and  became  forthwith  the  best-beloved  singer  in  the 
city.  When  San  Francisco  was  rebuilt  after  the  earthquake  and  fire  of 
1906  (as  was  the  Tivoli),  Tetrazzini  returned  to  sing  in  the  street,  in 
front  of  the  Chronicle  office  at  Lotta's  fountain,  on  Christmas  Eve, 
1909.  Jamming  the  streets  in  five  directions  was  the  densest  crowd 
ever  seen  in  the  city.  She  also  sang  at  the  fourth  Tivoli,  opened  in 
1913.  But  the  heyday  of  the  famous  theater  was  over;  and  on  Novem- 
ber 23,  1913,  it  gave  its  last  operatic  performance  with  Leoncavallo 
conducting  his  own  /  Pagliacci. 

How  permanent  was  the  city's  musical  tradition  was  proved  some 
75  years  later,  when  the  citizens  of  San  Francisco  made  their  symphony 
orchestra  the  first  and  only  one  in  the  Nation  to  be  assisted  regularly 
with  public  money.  Since  its  debut  concert  in  1911,  the  San  Francisco 
Symphony  had  enjoyed  more  than  local  respect,  under  the  successive 
direction  of  Henry  Hadley,  Alfred  Hertz,  Basil  Cameron,  Issay  Do- 
browen,  and  Pierre  Monteux.  But  during  the  1934-35  season,  condi- 
tions became  so  acute  that  of  the  playing  personnel  only  the  director, 
concert-master,  and  solo  'cellist  remained.  The  situation  was  remedied 
by  taxpayers  who  gave  a  half-cent  of  every  dollar  that  found  its  way 
into  the  municipal  coffers. 

Pierre  Monteux,  conductor  since  1935,  an  ex-associate  of  the  Metro- 
politan Opera  and  a  former  conductor  of  the  Boston  Symphony  and 
several  European  organizations,  has  done  much  to  reaffirm  the  orchestra's 
position.  Beginning  in  1937,  tne  season — curtailed  during  the  depres- 
sion— was  increased  to  12  concert  pairs,  carrying  over  18  weeks.  The 
San  Francisco  Symphony  was  the  first  major  orchestra  to  admit  women 
to  the  playing  personnel.  It  has  also  taken  an  interest  in  such  youthful 


144      SAN     FRANCISCO 

prodigies  as  Yehudi  Menuhin,  Ruggiero  Ricci,  Grisha  Goluboff,  and 
Ruth  Slenczynski. 

The  San  Francisco  Opera  Association  owes  its  existence  largely  to 
Gaetano  Merola,  its  general  director,  who  came  to  California  with  an 
organization  headed  by  Fortune  Gallo,  one  of  the  many  traveling  com- 
panies that  visited  San  Francisco  following  the  twilight  of  the  Tivoli. 
The  present  San  Francisco  Opera  Company  made  its  inaugural  bow 
before  the  public  in  September,  1923,  in  the  cavernous  Civic  Auditorium, 
originally  built  for  convention  purposes.  In  1932,  after  20  years  of 
personal  and  political  wrangling,  the  War  Memorial  Opera  House — 
first  municipal  opera  house  in  the  United  States — was  completed. 

The  season  at  the  present  time  is  divided  into  a  regular  subscription 
series  of  n  performances  and  a  popular  Saturday  night  series  of  three. 
In  its  17  years  of  existence,  the  San  Francisco  Opera  Company  has 
produced  no  single  star  of  the  first  magnitude  from  its  own  ranks,  but 
it  has  imported  such  singers  as  Lawrence  Tibbett,  Lotte  Lehman,  Lily 
Pons,  Elizabeth  Rethberg,  Kirsten  Flagstad,  Lauritz  Melchior,  and 
Giovanni  Martinelli.  The  popular-priced  San  Carlos  Opera  Company's 
performances,  during  the  unfashionable  late  winter  months,  invariably 
sell  out. 

The  "quadrologue  of  equally  attuned  souls"  that  Miska  Hauser 
tried  vainly  to  keep  together  is  come  to  life  in  the  present  San  Fran- 
cisco String  Quartet,  a  lineal  descendant  of  the  earlier  Persinger,  Hecht, 
and  Abas  ensembles,  which  played  for  many  years  in  and  near  San 
Francisco.  The  San  Francisco  String  Quartet  has  held  the  leading  posi- 
tion among  the  city's  chamber  music  artists  since  1934. 

The  Northern  California  Music  Project  in  San  Francisco  (formerly 
the  Federal  Music  Project),  now  under  the  direction  of  Nathan  Abas, 
not  only  has  performed  standard  choral  and  symphonic  works,  but  has 
resurrected  with  acute  musical  vigilance  the  opera  bouffe,  so  popular 
with  Europeans.  Erich  Weiler  has  given  the  operas  English  librettos, 
their  humor  pointed  up  with  modern  colloquialisms ;  and  the  artists  have 
caught  their  spirit  of  hilarious  pasquinade.  The  project  also  maintains 
a  free  school  of  musical  instruction  for  those  unable  to  afford  private 
training. 

Gaston  Usigli,  who  directs  the  Bach  festival  each  summer  at  Carmel, 
has  been  heard  as  guest-conductor  with  the  project's  orchestra,  as  has 
Dr.  Antonia  Brico,  one  of  the  few  women  in  the  world  to  wield  a  baton 
effectively.  Arnold  Schonberg  directed  the  orchestra  in  the  San  Fran- 
cisco premiere  of  his  own  tone  poem,  Pelleas  and  Melisande.  San 
Franciscans  had  to  wait  for  the  project  orchestra's  performances  to  hear 
Dmitri  Shostakovich's  First  Symphony,  and  Paul  Hindemith's  Mathis 
der  Maler.  The  project's  chorus,  as  well  as  its  orchestra,  has  composed 
its  programs  with  imagination  and  initiative.  But  perhaps  the  most 


SOCIAL     HERITAGE      145 

significant  value  of  these  musical  organizations  has  been  the  opportunity 
they  have  given  San  Francisco  composers  and  audiences  to  appraise 
music  written  locally.  Exciting  events  were  the  world  premieres  of 
Ernst  Bacon's  Country  Roads  (Unpaved),  Nino  Gomel's  The  Conquest 
of  Percy,  and  Tomo  Yagodka's  Sonata  for  Piano  and  Orchestra. 

The  impact  of  the  modern  environment  on  the  sensibilities  of  the 
artist  has  seldom  been  better  expressed  than  by  San  Francisco's  Henry 
Cowell.  Though  most  audiences  have  been  staggered,  technically 
trained  composers  recognize  the  theoretical  value  of  Cowell's  contribu- 
tion to  modern  music.  In  the  Marin  hills  overlooking  the  city,  Ernest 
Bloch  composed  his  rhapsody  America,  while  serving  as  director  of  the 
San  Francisco  Conservatory  of  Music.  Ray  Green  and  Lew  Harrison, 
local  exponents  of  the  modern  experimental  school,  have  written  instru- 
mental music  and  brilliant  compositions  for  dance  groups.  John  St. 
Edmunds,  composer  of  nearly  400  songs  somewhat  more  traditional  in 
technique,  received  in  1937  tne  Columbia  University  Beams  Prize. 

To  many,  the  Barbary  Coast's  unbroken  hum  of  melodeon,  piano, 
Mexican  orchestra,  and  singer  was  only  San  Francisco's  brawling  night 
voice.  But  one  man  caught  in  these  sounds  the  musical  implications  of 
a  future  rhythm.  This  man  was  Ferdinand  Rudolph  van  Grofe — Ferde 
Grofe — incomparable  arranger  of  jazz,  composer  of  Grand  Canyon 
Suite  and  other  notable  interpretations  of  the  American  scene.  As  an 
extra  piano  player  on  call  at  the  Old  Hippodrome  and  Thalia,  Barbary 
Coast  resorts,  he  recorded  in  his  mind  a  medley  of  folk  songs,  Negro 
dance  tunes,  and  sailor's  chanties.  "The  new  music  in  the  air  along 
Pacific  Street  .  .  .  did  something  to  me!" 

When  Grofe  left  the  Barbary  Coast  to  play  the  piano  with  Art 
Hickman's  band  at  the  St.  Francis  Hotel,  the  tvvo  arranged  music  that 
was  different  and  sparkling.  Other  orchestra  leaders  who  played  in  San 
Francisco — Paul  Whiteman,  Rudy  Seiger,  and  Paul  Ash — became  con- 
spicuous exponents  of  this  new  music.  Recent  band  leaders  who  have 
taken  off  from  San  Francisco  on  their  musical  flights  include  Paul  Pen- 
darvis,  Dick  Aurandt,  Frank  Castle,  Carl  Ravazza,  and  Ran  Wilde. 

Home  music  makers  in  San  Francisco  often  aspire  to  the  highest 
professional  standards.  Amateur  groups  frequently  meet  to  forget  the 
tensions  of  the  day  in  the  sanity  of  Brahms  or  Bach,  or  in  the  work  of 
local  composers.  Both  the  playing  and  the  composing  are  marked  with 
a  strong  beat  of  self-reliance,  in  whose  echo  can  be  heard  the  promise  of 
San  Francisco's  musical  future. 


SAN  FRANCISCO  GOES  TO  CHURCH 

For  60  years  before  the  founding  of  Yerba  Buena,  the  padres  of 
Mission  Dolores  heard  their  Indian  converts  recite  the  Doctrina  Chris- 


146      SAN     FRANCISCO 

tiana,  watched  their  Mexican  parishioners  lumbering  over  the  sand  hills 
in  oxcarts  to  celebrate  saints'  feast  days.  And  hardly  had  the  first 
Argonauts  pitched  their  tents  around  Portsmouth  Square  before  a 
Protestant  clergyman  rose  to  deliver  the  doctrine  of  Methodism.  Today 
nearly  300  churches,  representing  more  than  50  denominations,  exert  a 
vast  influence  over  the  lives  of  thousands  of  San  Franciscans.  Many 
were  founded  amid  the  turbulence  of  the  Gold  Rush,  others  in  the  era 
of  industrial  expansion.  Some  have  accepted  high  responsibilities  in  the 
city's  struggles  for  public  order.  Issues  of  the  Civil  War,  of  State  and 
municipal  politics  were  declared  from  their  pulpits. 

Sam  Brannan's  Latter-Day  Saints  assembled  in  harbor  master  Wil- 
liam A.  Richardson's  "Casa  Grande"  in  1847,  but  internal  dissension — 
and  the  Gold  Rush — soon  caused  them  to  lose  their  influence.  Through- 
out the  winter  of  1848  Elihu  Anthony,  a  layman,  preached  to  packed 
audiences  in  the  Public  Institute.  His  rival,  who  drew  a  like  number 
of  listeners  to  this  town  meeting-house  in  the  Plaza,  was  the  Reverend 
Timothy  Dwight  Hunt,  a  Congregationalist  missionary  who  followed 
his  Argonaut  flock  from  the  Sandwich  Islands.  On  his  arrival  in  San 
Francisco,  an  enthusiastic  citizenry  elected  him  chaplain  of  the  city 
for  one  year  at  a  salary  of  $2,000. 

Gold-mad  San  Francisco  offered  opportunities  for  conversion  only  to 
such  heroic  missionaries  as  that  Reverend  William  "California"  Tay- 
lor, who  conducted  open-air  meetings  on  Portsmouth  Square  in  1849 
and  became  the  most  renowned  of  the  city's  host  of  street  preachers. 
This  resourceful  Methodist's  approach  to  the  adamantine  hearts  of  his 
listeners  he  described  later  in  his  memoirs :  "Now  should  a  poor  preacher 
presume  to  go  into  their  midst,  and  interfere  with  their  business,  by 
thrilling  every  house  with  the  songs  of  Zion  and  the  peals  of  Gospel 
truth,  he  would  be  likely  to  wake  up  the  lion  in  his  lair.  ...  I  selected 
for  my  pulpit  a  carpenter's  work-bench,  which  stood  in  front  of  one  of 
the  largest  gambling  houses  in  the  city.  I  got  Mrs.  Taylor  and  another 
lady  or  two  comfortably  seated,  in  the  care  of  a  good  brother,  and  taking 
the  stand,  I  sung  on  a  high  key,  'Hear  the  royal  proclamation,  the  glad 
tidings  of  salvation',  .  .  ."  The  good  Reverend  Taylor's  summons 
brought  people  tumbling  out  of  saloons  and  dancehalls  "as  though  they 
had  heard  the  cry  'Fire!'  'Fire!'  'Fire!'"  Many  remained  to  listen 
with  respect. 

In  1854,  the  Reverend  William  Anderson  Scott,  D.D.,  LL.D., 
preached  his  first  sermon  in  San  Francisco  to  a  crowd  in  a  dancehall. 
Neighboring  resorts  closed  during  the  services,  while  bartenders,  card- 
dealers,  and  female  entertainers  flocked  to  hear  this  scholarly  Presby- 
terian from  one  of  New  Orleans'  largest  churches.  Subsequent  meet- 
ings resulted  in  the  construction  in  1854  of  a  church  on  Bush  Street, 
in  a  district  then  notorious  for  its  dancehalls,  gambling  saloons,  and  dens 


SOCIAL     HERITAGE       1 47 

of  vice.  In  1869  this  neighborhood  became  so  boisterous  that  the  con- 
gregation had  to  seek  a  new  home.  But  the  Reverend  Dr.  Scott  was  no 
longer  on  hand  to  lead  them.  At  the  outbreak  of  the  Civil  War,  he  had 
preached  the  right  of  secession  to  an  outraged  membership,  while  a  mob 
of  Northerners  stormed  the  front  door  of  his  church.  Spirited  out  a 
rear  exit  by  a  loyal  female  supporter,  he  was  whisked  away  in  a  carriage 
to  a  ship  that  took  him  to  safety  in  New  York. 

Among  claimants  to  the  honor  of  having  erected  the  city's  first 
Protestant  church,  Baptists  point  with  pride  to  that  makeshift  affair  of 
lumber  and  sailcloth  into  which  the  Reverend  Osgood  C.  Wheeler  led 
his  little  flock  in  March,  1849.  The  Baptist  pastor  closed  his  sermon 
in  the  spring  of  that  year  with  a  prediction  of  the  city's  great  commer- 
cial future,  urging  his  listeners  to  build  an  organization  able  to  cope 
with  so  portentous  a  destiny.  The  Baptists  were  to  prove  equal  to  their 
obligations  when  the  Reverend  Isaac  S.  Kalloch  headed  the  reform 
movement  that  elected  him  mayor  in  1879. 

Meanwhile  the  six  loyal  followers  of  the  Reverend  Albert  Williams, 
a  Presbyterian  clergyman,  had  met  in  a  tent  and  laid  plans  for  establish- 
ing a  church  of  their  own.  When  the  prefabricated  place  of  worship 
arrived  from  the  East  and  was  dedicated,  thirty-two  ladies  attended  the 
proceedings,  much  to  the  amazement  of  the  male  population. 

Just  as  the  Gold  Rush  offered  opportunities  for  every  profession,  it 
welcomed  every  creed.  In  such  an  atmosphere  the  timid  religionist  was 
as  lost  as  the  timid  gambler,  but  for  the  resourceful  there  was  a  place. 
When  the  luckless  miner  or  workman  had  nowhere  else  to  turn,  he  could 
find  a  champion  of  his  rights  in  the  pastor  of  some  friendly  church. 
Even  the  last  hours  of  the  Vigilantes'  victims  were  cheered  by  spiritual 
consolation. 

Of  the  Protestant  sects  which  have  accepted  leadership  in  public 
affairs,  none  has  had  so  decisive  an  influence  on  San  Francisco  and  the 
State  as  the  Unitarians.  This  denomination,  during  the  critical  period 
of  the  Civil  War,  had  as  its  Abolitionist  representative  in  California  the 
fiery  young  evangelist,  Thomas  Starr  King.  He  was  only  35  when,  in 
1860,  he  took  over  the  pastorate  of  San  Francisco's  Unitarian  Church. 
David  Broderick,  leading  opponent  of  the  State's  powerful  secessionist 
minority,  had  been  killed  the  previous  year;  and  Colonel  E.  D.  Baker, 
having  been  elected  United  States  Senator  from  Oregon,  had  left  Cali- 
fornia with  a  ringing  appeal  for  the  election  of  Lincoln.  Thus  the  task 
of  holding  the  State  in  the  Union  column  fell  on  the  frail  shoulders  of 
the  young  preacher  from  Boston,  whose  personal  charm  and  spellbinding 
oratory  were  instrumental  in  saving  California  with  the  election  of 
Leland  Stanford  as  governor  in  1861.  King's  death  four  years  later 
was  due  to  his  strenuous  efforts  collecting  funds  for  the  United  States 
Sanitary  Commission,  the  Red  Cross  of  the  Northern  armies. 


148      SAN     FRANCISCO 

While  Lincoln  hesitated  to  proclaim  the  issue  of  freedom  for  the 
slaves,  Thomas  Starr  King  appealed  with  Abolitionist  fervor:  "O  that 
the  President  would  soon  speak  that  electric  sentence, — inspiration  to 
the  loyal  North,  doom  to  the  traitorous  aristocracy  whose  cup  of  guilt 
is  full!"  That  King's  idealism  went  beyond  the  issues  of  his  day  is 
revealed  in  his  lectures  in  defense  of  both  the  Chinese  in  California  and 
those  white  laborers  whose  hand  was  raised  against  them. 

The  Nation  observed  King's  passing  with  the  firing  of  minute  guns 
in  the  Bay;  flags  hung  at  half  mast  on  foreign  vessels  in  the  Bay,  on 
consulates  and  all  public  buildings  in  San  Francisco.  In  1927  the 
California  Legislature  bracketed  his  name  with  Junipero  Serra's,  and, 
with  the  $10,000  appropriated  for  the  purpose  in  1913,  erected  com- 
panion statues  of  these  two  official  California  heroes  in  Statuary  Hall, 
Washington,  D.  C. 

The  Episcopal  Church  can  lay  claim  to  the  most  romantic  origin  of 
all  local  religious  institutions.  Its  Book  of  Common  Prayer  was  used 
for  the  first  time  on  American  soil  by  the  Golden  Hinde's  chaplain 
Francis  Fletcher,  in  the  service  held  on  the  shore  of  Drake's  Bay  on 
June  17,  1579  (old  style).  Two  hundred  and  seventy  years 
later,  in  1849,  the  Reverend  Flavel  Scott  Mines  from  Virginia  estab- 
lished Trinity  Church ;  and  in  the  same  year  Grace  Church  was  founded. 
When  Bishop  Kip,  in  1863,  placed  his  Episcopal  Chair  in  the  latter,  he 
thereby  made  it  the  first  Episcopal  cathedral  in  the  United  States.  Per- 
haps no  other  religious  leader  in  the  city's  history  has  occupied  quite  such 
social  prominence  as  was  accorded  Bishop  Kip.  To  a  gay  generation  he 
represented  a  serenity  of  faith  and  a  Christian  liberalism  in  which  the 
innocent  frivolities  of  social  life  might  be  reconciled  with  religion.  His 
successor,  Bishop  Nichols,  lived  to  see  the  realization  of  his  dream  of  a 
cathedral  which,  when  finally  completed,  would  be  worthy  of  his 
church's  ancient  tradition.  After  the  1906  fire,  which  destroyed  the 
original  Grace  Cathedral,  wealthy  families  donated  sites  of  their  charred 
mansions  on  Nob  Hill  to  the  Episcopal  diocese;  and  in  1910  the  corner- 
stone of  the  present  majestic  Grace  Cathedral  was  laid. 

To  Gold  Rush  San  Francisco  also  came  leaders  of  the  Roman 
Catholic  faith;  and  the  establishment  of  American  rule  offered  an 
opportunity  for  the  Catholic  diocese  in  Oregon  to  found  a  pastorate  of 
the  Jesuit  Order  in  San  Francisco.  That  the  prospects  for  this  venture 
were  more  of  a  challenge  than  an  invitation  is  clear  from  the  record 
kept  by  a  colleague  of  that  Father  Langlois  who,  in  1849,  arrived  to 
plant  his  faith  "on  the  longed-for  shores  of  what  goes  under  the  name 
of  San  Francisco  but  which  whether  it  should  be  called  the  mad-house 
or  Babylon  I  am  at  a  loss  to  determine  .  .  ."  So  hopeless  appeared  all 
but  a  handful  of  French-Canadians  among  the  Argonauts  that  the  good 


SOCIAL     HERITAGE       149 

Father  resolved  to  depend  on  these  few  strayed  parishioners  to  form  the 
nucleus  of  his  congregation. 

With  the  establishment  of  Bishop  Joseph  Sadoc  Alemany's  diocese  at 
Monterey,  however,  and  the  early  arrival  in  San  Francisco  of  Father 
Maginnis  to  aid  in  the  work,  Father  Langlois  was  able  to  say  Mass  and 
baptize  the  first  convert  in  a  new  parish  chapel.  Soon  after  the  arrival 
from  Ireland,  in  1853  and  1854,  of  several  Sisters  of  Mercy,  the  city's 
first  parochial  school  had  enrolled  300  pupils.  Once  St.  Patrick's 
Church  was  established,  the  firm  foundation  was  laid  for  the  progress 
of  Catholicism  in  San  Francisco.  On  Christmas  Day,  1854,  St.  Mary's 
Church  was  dedicated  as  the  cathedral  seat  of  newly  consecrated  Arch- 
bishop Alemany,  whose  spiritual  domain  included  California  and 
Nevada. 

Despite  its  history  of  missionary  achievements  antedating  the  signing 
of  the  Declaration  of  Independence,  the  Catholic  Church  in  San  Fran- 
cisco had  to  start  from  scratch,  after  the  80  years  of  comparative  pros- 
perity in  which  Mission  Dolores  had  shared.  Though  title  to  the  land 
and  buildings  of  Mission  Dolores  was  not  restored  to  the  Church  until 
1860,  it  was  occupied  almost  continuously  by  Franciscan  or  Picpus 
Fathers  between  the  date  of  its  secularization  (1833)  and  the  advent  of 
American  rule.  The  St.  Thomas  Aquinas  Diocesan  Seminary,  operated 
at  Mission  Dolores  between  1853  and  1866,  was  a  pioneer  in  the  revival 
of  education ;  but  its  efforts  to  teach  white  children  resemble  the  arduous 
pedagogy  of  the  colonial  period.  Thus  matters  stood  until,  in  1855,  the 
Jesuits  began  the  establishment  of  the  College  of  St.  Ignatius,  from 
which  the  present  University  of  San  Francisco  has  grown.  However 
great  the  debt  owed  by  Catholicism  to  the  missions  and  to  Junipero 
Serra,  the  church  in  San  Francisco  has  derived  its  present  prosperity 
from  the  Gold  Rush  and  bonanza  wealth  in  which  it  shared. 

Two  of  the  city's  Hebrew  congregations  first  assembled  near  Ports- 
mouth Square  in  1849.  Temple  Emanu-El,  founded  by  German  Jews, 
and  Temple  Sherith  Israel,  whose  original  congregation  was  composed 
mainly  of  English  and  Polish  elements,  constitute  today  San  Francisco's 
chief  citadels  of  reformist  Judaism.  These  congregations  provide  mag- 
nificent and  modern  cultural  centers  for  the  city's  liberal  Jewry.  Rabbi 
Nieto,  leader  of  Sherith  Israel  congregation  for  32  years,  played  a  prom- 
inent part  in  the  restoration  of  the  city  after  1906.  His  advocacy  of 
welfare  facilities  in  connection  with  synagogues  resulted  in  the  estab- 
lishment of  "Temple  Centers"  throughout  the  Nation.  Today  in  San 
Francisco  the  Jews  share  with  the  Catholics,  in  institutions  for  public 
welfare  which  they  have  separately  established,  a  major  responsibility 
for  the  city's  orphans  and  aged  and  destitute ;  most  of  the  city's  hospitals 
owe  their  origin  and  maintenance  to  Catholic  or  Hebrew  congregations. 

Especially  characteristic  of  San  Francisco  is  a  host  of  lesser  sects. 


I5O      SAN     FRANCISCO 

From  few  city  directories  could  be  compiled  such  a  list  of  denomi- 
nations and  churches  as  this:  Seventh  Day  Adventists  (both  Greek 
and  Chinese),  Mexican  Baptists,  Buddhists  (American  and  Japanese), 
Molokans  (Russian  Christians),  Armenian  Congregationalists,  the 
Christian  Spiritualist  Church,  the  Father  Divine  Peace  Mission,  the 
Glad  Tidings  Temple,  the  Golden  Rule  Spiritualist  Church,  Jehovah's 
Witnesses  (Negro),  the  Rosicrucian  Brotherhood,  the  Society  of  Pro- 
gressive Spiritualists,  the  Spanish  Pentecostal  Church,  the  Theosophists' 
United  Lodge,  the  Tin  How  Temple  (Chinese),  and  the  Vedanta 
Society. 

From  San  Francisco's  diverse  population,  tens  of  thousands  (50,000 
in  1940)  each  Easter  morning  make  the  difficult  pilgrimage  up  the  city's 
highest  hill,  Mount  Davidson,  to  worship  at  the  foot  of  the  great  cross 
on  the  peak.  And,  here,  all  forget  their  differences  of  creed  in  a  com- 
mon reverence  to  that  religious  spirit  which  has  remained  a  social  force 
since  the  city's  earliest  days. 

GENTLEMEN  OF  THE  PRESS 

"Some  contend,"  said  Yerba  Buena's  first  newspaper  in  1847,  "that 
there  are  really  no  laws  in  force  here,  but  the  divine  law  and  the  law 
of  nature;  while  others  are  of  the  opinion  that  there  are  laws  in  force 
here  if  they  could  only  be  found."  This  polite  apology  for  a  state  of 
anarchy  may  have  caused  some  speculation  among  readers  of  Sam  Bran- 
nan's  California  Star,  but  it  foretold  nothing  of  the  militant  and  decisive 
role  journalism  was  to  play  for  half  a  century  in  the  public  affairs  of 
San  Francisco. 

More  indicative  of  this  role  was  California's  pioneer  newspaper,  the 
Californian,  established  in  Monterey  in  1846  and  removed  to  Yerba 
Buena  a  year  later.  Its  editor  and  publisher,  when  it  became  the  Stars 
competitor,  was  that  formidable  Robert  Semple  who  had  helped  lead 
the  Bear  Flag  revolt  and  published  manifestoes  of  the  American  occupa- 
tion. Hardly,  however,  had  Brannan's  little  sheet  begun  to  ridicule  the 
Calif  or  nians  mild  reports  of  "Gold  Mine  Found"  and  "Doc"  Semple's 
patriotic  oratory,  when  news  from  Sutter's  mill  race  caused  both  papers 
to  suspend  publication.  Their  publishers  and  printers  joined  the  stam- 
pede to  the  diggings. 

Late  in  1848,  Edward  C.  Kemble  acquired  the  Star,  of  which  he 
had  been  editor  when  its  weekly  circulation  "outside  town  and  other 
parts  of  the  globe"  was  a  hundred  copies ;  and,  soon  after,  he  bought  the 
defunct  Californian  and  combined  the  two  papers  under  the  name  Star 
and  Californian.  With  two  new  associates,  printers  from  New  York, 
Kemble  issued  in  January,  1849,  the  Alta  California,  which  became 
San  Francisco's  leading  source  of  news  for  the  next  30  years.  Not  until 


SOCIAL     HERITAGE      151 

1891  did  ft  finally  pass  from  the  scene,  having  published,  in  its  time, 
the  letters  written  from  Europe  by  Mark  Twain  in  the  i86o's  that 
were  compiled  in  Innocents  Abroad.  Among  its  managing  editors  was 
Frank  Soule,  co-author  of  the  Annals  of  San  Francisco. 

The  growth  of  rival  journals,  which  by  1850  forced  the  Alta  to 
become  the  first  daily,  continued  throughout  the  decade  with  a  luxuri- 
ance propagated  by  political  factionalism  and  homesickness  among  the 
immigrant  population.  Not  to  be  outdone,  the  Daily  Journal  of  Com- 
merce was  issuing  daily  editions  within  24  hours  after  its  elder  rival 
began  doing  so.  Before  the  end  of  1850,  daily  editions  of  The  Herald f 
the  Public  Balance,  the  Evening  Picayune,  the  California  Courier,  and 
the  California  Illustrated  Times  had  appeared. 

Despite  the  high  mortality  of  the  press  of  the  Gold  Rush  era, 
Kemble  in  1858  listed  132  periodicals  as  having  appeared  in  San  Fran- 
cisco since  1850.  Only  dailies  to  survive  the  decade,  however,  were  the 
Alta  and  The  Herald. 

That  the  majority  of  these  organs  were  rather  journals  of  opinion 
than  newspapers  is  not  surprising.  Crime,  gold  strikes,  and  other  sensa- 
tional matters  were  so  much  the  subjects  of  common  knowledge  that  the 
press  had  to  search  far  and  wide  for  news  of  interest  to  its  readers. 
The  huge  influx  of  immigrants  from  Eastern  communities  compelled 
numerous  San  Francisco  papers  to  employ  correspondents  on  the  Atlantic 
seaboard,  who  dispatched  bulletins  by  the  steamers  that  brought  also 
large  batches  of  Eastern  newspapers.  The  Overland  Stage,  reducing 
communication  between  St.  Louis  and  San  Francisco  to  21  days  after 
1858,  somewhat  improved  news-gathering  facilities;  and  when  a  tele- 
graph line  was  strung  in  1861,  news  of  national  significance  was  avail- 
able. The  quality  of  printing,  with  the  introduction  of  the  Hoe 
cylindrical  press  in  the  1850*5,  likewise  was  improved;  and  by  1860  a 
grade  of  paper  better  than  foolscap  was  obtainable. 

Editorials  and  classified  advertising,  however,  continued  to  be  the 
main  features  of  weeklies  and  dailies  alike.  Though  articles  were 
rarely  signed,  the  style  of  each  editor  was  instantly  recognizable  to 
readers  who,  according  to  John  P.  Young's  History  of  Journalism  in 
San  Francisco,  "looked  not  so  much  for  intelligence  as  to  see  who  was 
being  lambasted."  This  highly  personal  tone  was  employed  also  by 
editors  of  less  slanderous  journals,  such  as  the  columnist  of  the  Golden 
Era  who  addressed  his  correspondents  by  their  initials  and  gave  fatherly 
advice.  Perhaps  this  friendly  policy  had  something  to  do  with  making 
the  Golden  Era  the  city's  leading  weekly  for  30  years  after  its  estab- 
lishment in  1854. 

In  the  San  Francisco  of  the  Gold  Rush  era,  newspaper  editors  had 
to  be  printers,  writers  of  verse,  and  hurlers  of  insults;  they  had  to  take 
sides  in  political  controversies,  during  which  their  opponents  might  at 


152      SAN     FRANCISCO 

any  moment  attack  them  in  a  fist  fight  or  challenge  them  to  a  duel. 
Catherine  Coffin  Phillips,  in  her  history  of  Portsmouth  Square,  states 
that  above  one  editor's  desk  was  hung  this  laconic  placard:  "Subscrip- 
tions Received  From  9  to  4;  Challenges  From  n  to  12  only." 

Bitterness  over  the  slavery  issue  was  the  cause  of  frequent  brawls 
and  armed  encounters.  Duels  were  of  such  common  occurrence  that 
newspapers  mentioned  them  only  in  passing,  unless  they  involved  prom- 
inent persons.  A.  C.  Russell,  an  editor  on  the  staff  of  the  Alta  Cali- 
fornia, having  escaped  harm  in  a  duel  with  pistols,  was  subsequently 
stabbed  in  an  "affair  of  honor"  fought  with  bowie  knives.  The  Alta's 
managing  editor,  Edward  Gilbert,  was  killed  in  1852  by  a  henchman  of 
Governor  John  Bigler,  who  defended  his  boss  against  an  item  intended 
to  make  him  appear  ridiculous.  In  that  same  year,  the  Alta's  support 
of  David  Broderick,  campaigning  for  election  to  the  State  Senate  on  an 
anti-slavery  platform,  caused  the  wounding  of  another  of  its  editors  by 
an  editor  of  the  pro-slavery  Times  and  Transcript.  An  editor  of  The 
Herald,  a  daily  fighting  corruption  in  municipal  politics,  was  shot  in 
the  leg  by  a  city  supervisor.  James  King  of  William  (a  distinction 
invented  to  avoid  confusion  with  other  James  Kings),  who  founded  the 
Evening  Bulletin  in  1855,  did  not  survive  his  first  encounter  with  a 
spokesman  for  the  embattled  politicians.  His  death,  from  a  wound 
inflicted  by  the  supervisor  who  was  editor  of  the  Sunday  Times,  was, 
however,  the  signal  for  mobilization  of  the  Vigilance  Committee  of 
1856.  The  office  of  the  Morning  Herald,  the  Alias  most  potent  rival, 
was  stormed  by  a  mob,  who  burned  its  editions  in  the  streets  for  oppos- 
ing the  committee's  work. 

The  close  of  the  Civil  War  saw  the  establishment  of  the  only  two 
morning  dailies  that  have  survived  since  1 865 :  the  San  Francisco 
Examiner  and  the  San  Francisco  Chronicle.  The  Dramatic  Chronicle, 
edited  by  two  brothers  in  their  teens,  was  so  well  received  after  "scoop- 
ing" the  news  of  Lincoln's  death  that  Charles  and  M.  H.  de  Young,  in 
1868,  were  able  to  transform  it  into  the  daily  Morning  Chronicle.  For 
the  next  15  years,  under  the  management  of  the  belligerent  Charles,  the 
Chronicle  entertained  its  readers  with  scandal  and  political  onslaughts, 
while  its  editor  defended  himself  in  duels  and  libel  suits.  Following  a 
bitter  campaign  against  the  Workingman's  Party  and  its  candidate  for 
mayor  in  1879,  Charles  de  Young  was  killed;  and  for  the  next  45  years 
the  Chronicle  was  under  the  direction  of  his  younger  brother.  Through- 
out his  long  career,  M.  H.  de  Young,  through  his  managing  editor, 
John  P.  Young,  made  his  paper  a  force  for  political  conservatism  and 
social  order.  Follower  of  an  anti-slavery  tradition,  the  Chronicle 
remained  staunchly  Republican,  its  viewpoint  attracting  to  its  staff  such 
writers  as  Will  and  Wallace  Irwin  and  Franklin  K.  Lane,  who  was 
Secretary  of  the  Interior  under  President  Wilson.  Not  until  the  1930*5, 


SOCIAL     HERITAGE      153 

however,  did  it  suddenly  recapture,  under  the  management  of  young 
Paul  Smith,  the  sophisticated  quality  of  its  earliest  editions. 

Leading  rival  of  the  Chronicle  for  morning  circulation,  William 
Randolph  Hearst's  Examiner  was  founded  on  the  ruins  of  the  pro- 
slavery  Democratic  Press,  which  a  mob,  provoked  by  news  of  President 
Lincoln's  assassination,  had  wrecked  beyond  repair.  Despite  popular 
indignation,  the  staff  of  the  Democratic  Press  was  carried  over  intact  to 
the  Daily  Examiner.  From  its  appearance  on  June  12,  1865,  until  a 
wealthy  miner  named  George  Hearst  bought  it  in  1880,  the  Examiner 
defended  the  interests  of  Southern  Democrats  who  remained  entrenched 
in  California  politics.  With  its  transfer  to  young  William  Randolph 
Hearst  in  1887,  however,  began  that  sensational  career  which  made  the 
Examiner  s  owner  a  storm  center  of  American  journalism  for  50  years. 

With  bonanza  millions  at  his  disposal,  and  a  genius  for  showman- 
ship, Hearst  gathered  together  a  staff  that  included  some  of  the  best 
newspaper  talent  that  money  could  buy.  S.  S.  (Sam)  Chamberlain, 
protege  of  James  Gordon  Bennett  and  founder  of  the  first  American 
newspaper  in  Paris,  became  managing  editor.  The  daring  resourceful- 
ness of  the  Examiner  s  reporters  delighted  its  readers  and  filled  its 
rivals,  especially  the  Chronicle,  with  alarm.  Unheard-of  was  its  print- 
ing of  two  full  pages  of  cablegrams  from  Vienna,  relating  the  mysterious 
death  of  Crown  Prince  Rudolph  of  Austria  and  the  Baroness  Marie 
Vetsera.  Examiner  correspondents  dispatched  news  from  the  ends  of 
the  earth.  Announced  with  glaring  headlines  and  illustrated  with 
photographs,  this  dramatization  of  the  news  caught  the  imagination  of 
the  public.  To  the  reporting  of  local  news  the  Examiner  brought 
innovations  no  less  startling.  One  of  its  editorial  writers,  the  cynical 
Arthur  McEwen,  once  remarked  that  reporters  risked  their  necks  for 
the  sake  of  a  story  to  make  the  public  exclaim:  "Gee  whiz!" 

Jack  London  was  on  the  Examiner  s  brilliant  staff  in  the  closing 
decades  of  the  last  century.  The  modern  comic  strip  was  born  as 
cartoonists  James  Swinnerton,  Bud  Fisher,  Rube  Goldberg,  R.  Dirks, 
and  Homer  Davenport  labored  side  by  side  creating  the  "Katzenjammer 
Kids,"  "Little  Jimmy,"  and  "Mutt  and  Jeff"  (created  by  Fisher  from 
habitues  of  the  old  Tanforan  Race  Track).  Ambrose  Bierce's  "Prattle" 
made  him  the  most  feared  of  the  Examiner's  columnists.  One  of  his 
malevolent  verses,  predicting  the  assassination  of  President  William 
McKinley,  was  interpreted  afterwards  as  an  incitation  to  the  act.  This 
gave  the  popularity  of  the  Hearst  papers  a  setback,  but  Hearst  was 
already  on  the  way  toward  establishing  his  powerful  chain.  Though 
the  Examiner  remains  one  of  the  leading  newspapers  on  the  Coast,  it  has 
long  since  dropped  its  original  pro-labor  policy.  Vanished  also  from 
its  offices  is  that  droll  atmosphere  wherein  Hearst  himself  "would 


154      SAN     FRANCISCO 

sometimes  preface  his  remarks  to  his  editors  by  dancing  a  jig  ..." 
And  not  since  H.  D.  ("Petey")  Bigelow  wangled  an  interview  out  of 
three  train  robbers  in  a  mountain  hideout  has  the  Examiner  found  a 
sensation  to  equal  either  that  story  or  its  author. 

Of  the  city's  two  surviving  afternoon  dailies,  the  Call-Bulletin  has 
the  longer  history.  Its  ancestor,  James  King  of  William's  militant 
Bulletin,  fought  corruption  in  politics  and  finance  for  half  a  century. 
It  was  saved  from  oblivion  in  1859,  three  years  after  its  first  editor's 
untimely  death,  by  a  publisher  from  New  Orleans,  G.  K.  Fitch,  who 
later  sold  half  his  interest  to  Loring  Pickering.  Soon  afterwards,  the 
partners  acquired  the  Morning  Call,  a  cooperative  paper  issued  by  a 
group  of  printers  claiming  to  be  "men  without  frills."  Fitch  became 
editor  of  the  Bulletin;  Pickering,  of  the  Call.  Though  both  papers  were 
published  under  the  same  roof  and  ownership,  their  policies  were  de- 
liberately antithetical.  At  a  time  when  violent  taking  of  sides  was 
evidence  of  red  blood,  Pickering's  Call  dared  to  be  nonpartisan.  Not 
less  outrageous  than  its  objective  reporting  was  its  society  page,  on 
which  the  doings  of  "the  Colonel's  lady  and  Mrs.  O'Grady"  were 
chronicled  side  by  side.  For  30  years  Fitch  kept  the  Bulletin  alive  with 
caustic  editorials  and  reportage  in  the  crusading  spirit  of  its  founder. 
He  fought  waste  in  municipal  administration  and  gambling  on  the  stock 
exchange,  assailed  big  corporations,  and  attacked  political  corruption  in 
both  Democratic  and  Republican  parties. 

When,  in  1897,  the  Bulletin  became  the  property  of  R.  A.  Crothers, 
it  engaged  as  managing  editor  a  hard-working  journalist  from  Wis- 
consin, whose  name  was  to  be  associated  with  San  Francisco  for  the  next 
two  decades.  Fremont  Older  had  come  West  with  an  ambition  to  "be 
like  Horace  Greeley,"  and  while  he  introduced  in  the  Bulletin  all  the 
sensational  tricks  of  "yellow  journalism,"  he  was  genuinely  motivated 
by  hatred  of  injustice  and  ardor  for  decency  in  public  affairs.  Banner 
headlines,  cartoons  of  politicians  in  striped  uniforms,  and  editorials 
solidly  documented  and  barbed  with  irony  revealed  the  corruption  of 
the  Ruef-Schmitz  machine.  Triumph  of  the  graft  prosecutions  made 
Older  so  popular  that  he  was  able  to  name  the  reform  candidate  who 
was  elected  mayor.  The  Bulletin 's  subsequent  aid  to  Hiram  Johnson 
enabled  him  to  break  the  railroad  monopoly  and  win  the  gubernatorial 
race  of  1910.  Older's  discovery  of  perjured  evidence  in  the  Thomas 
Mooney  case,  which  led  him  to  denounce  the  prosecution,  failed  to  meet 
with  such  popular  acclaim,  however.  Rather  than  agree  to  the  milder 
policy  advised  by  Crothers,  Older  resigned  from  the  Bulletin  in  1918. 
.Until  its  merger  with  the  Bulletin  in  1929,  he  was  managing  editor  of 
the  Call  and  Post  and  thereafter,  until  his  death  in  1935,  of  the  com- 
bined Call-Bulletin,  which  became  another  link  in  the  Hearst  chain. 
The  merger  of  the  two  papers  brought  an  end  to  the  Post,  which  since 


SOCIAL     HERITAGE       155 

1871  had  been  first  the  mouthpiece  of  Henry  George  of  Single  Tax 
fame  and  then  spokesman  for  the  United  Railways. 

The  city's  other  afternoon  daily,  the  San  Francisco  News,  was 
founded,  in  the  spring  of  1903,  as  the  i8th  link  in  the  Scripps-Howard 
chain.  It  adhered  to  Scripps'  declared  intention  "to  put  into  the  homes 
of  workers  who  had  little  time  to  read,  honest,  fearless  thought  im- 
partially incorruptible  by  social,  political,  or  financial  influences."  Issued 
originally  as  the  Daily  News  from  a  mouldy  little  office  " South  of  the 
Slot,"  its  penny  editions  were  eagerly  bought  by  workingmen.  As  late 
as  1919,  a  strike  of  railroad  yardmen,  though  outlawed  by  union  leaders, 
was  headlined  with  the  caption :  "Starvation  Pay  is  Cause  of  Strike  Men 
Say."  A  boxed  resume  enlarged  upon  this  theme. 

In  1923,  the  News  (now  under  Roy  Howard  and  the  United  Press) 
acquired  a  new  managing  editor,  W.  N.  Burkhart,  and  in  1930  moved 
to  its  present  plant  on  Mission  Street.  Its  pro-labor  policy  became  less 
uncompromising,  and  it  "saw  both  sides"  of  the  struggle  over  municipal 
ownership  of  public  utilities.  Thus  it  was  able  to  cross  the  social 
equator  of  Market  Street  without  losing  its  circulation  in  "the  Mis- 
sion." Where  the  Bill  of  Rights  is  at  stake,  however,  the  News  fore- 
goes the  sweetness  of  compromise.  In  this,  it  manages  to  preserve  that 
pioneer  integrity  which  died  hard  in  San  Francisco,  when,  as  elsewhere, 
in  William  Allen  White's  words,  "the  trade  which  became  a  profession 
turned  into  a  business  and  there  it  is  today." 


PART  III 
Around  the  IVorld  in  San  Francisco 

&&x&^^^^ 


Civic  Center 


"Above  all  the  dome,  seen  so  often  like  that  of  St.  Paul's  but 
dimly  through  the  fog" 

— MAURICE  BARING 


SAN  FRANCISCO'S  Civic  Center  constitutes  a  Beaux  Arts 
monument  to  the  city's  cultural  tradition,  its  achievements  in 
democratic  government,  and  its  proud  position  among  the  com- 
mercial centers  of  the  Nation.  Dominated  by  the  massive,  symmetrical 
pile  of  the  City  Hall — whose  dome,  surmounted  by  a  gilded  lantern, 
soars  high  above  the  city — the  wide  plaza  with  its  fountains,  its  trim 
shrubbery  and  acacias,  its  central  concourse  paved  with  red  brick  has 
been  for  the  last  quarter-century  the  focal  point  for  all  public  demon- 
strations. The  Civic  Center  has  been  the  scene  of  welcome  for  so  many 
celebrities  and  so  many  parades  that  henceforth — as  Charles  Caldwell 
Dobie  has  suggested — it  is  likely  to  become  the  most  popular  and  his- 
toric of  the  city's  landmarks. 

The  present  group  of  eight  buildings,  built  of  California  granite  in 
variations  of  the  massive  style  of  the  French  Renaissance,  is  an  example 
of  city  planning  to  contradict  the  city's  once-famous  reputation  for 
letting  things  run  wild.  One  by  one  these  substantial  structures  have 
risen  on  those  blocks  within  the  apex  of  that  angle  formed  by  the  con- 
vergence of  Market  Street  and  Van  Ness  Avenue  which  was  cleared  of 
debris  and  ashes  after  1906.  The  $8,000,000  bond  issue  voted  in  1912 
laid  the  foundation  for  the  project.  As  further  funds  become  available 
and  a  need  for  new  units  arises,  other  structures  will  be  added.  Perhaps 
in  time  the  dream  of  the  Civic  Center's  original  designer,  D.  H.  Burn- 
ham,  will  be  realized  by  the  extension  of  its  monumental  plan  to  include 
the  entire  city. 

Municipal  government  in  San  Francisco  was  not  always  so  well- 
housed  or  so  well-ordered.  For  more  than  a  half-century  after  1776 
the  seat  of  local  government  was  a  tiny  dirt-floored  two-room  hut,  home 
of  the  military  comandante  at  the  Presidio.  Here  in  1834  met  the 
voters  of  the  district  of  San  Francisco  to  decide  on  eleven  electors — who 
later  chose  the  first  ayuntamiento  (town  council),  consisting  of  an 
alcalde,  two  regidores,  and  a  syndico.  These  officials  entered  upon  their 
duties  on  January  I,  1835.  In  1839  the  council  was  abolished.  When 
the  State  came  under  American  rule  in  1846  Lieutenant  Washington 
A.  Bartlett  of  the  United  States  Navy  was  appointed  alcalde.  Publicly 
charged  in  1847  with  misappropriating  town  funds  (amounting  to 

161 


1 62      SAN     FRANCISCO 

$750),  he  was  acquitted  but  nevertheless  was  withdrawn  to  the  Navy. 
At  a  meeting  of  the  common  council  of  six  members  elected  a  few 
months  later — which  first  convened  in  September  1847 — tne  alcalde 
was  permitted  to  preside  over,  but  not  participate  in,  the  discussion. 
The  governmental  situation  was  so  confused  that  the  editor  of  the 
California  Star  complained  plaintively,  "we  have  alcaldes  all  over  .  .  . 
who  claim  jurisdiction  over  all  matters  for  difference  between  citizens." 

There  were  to  be  many  complaints,  more  vociferous,  before  the 
government  of  the  growing  town  became  orderly  and  predictable.  At 
one  time  no  less  than  three  councils  each  claimed  sole  right  to  govern. 
In  1847  an  ordinance  provided  that  two  constables  should  "strictly 
enforce  the  law"  and  "receive  for  the  service  of  any  unit  or  other 
process,  one  dollar,  to  be  paid  out  of  the  fines  imposed  upon  cases." 
In  1848  an  ordinance  was  passed  ordering  the  seizure  of  all  money 
found  on  gambling  tables,  the  money  to  go  into  the  town  coffers,  but  in 
that  same  year  the  lure  of  gold  drained  the  town  of  so  many  inhabitants 
that  at  one  time  not  a  single  officer  with  civil  authority  remained.  Only 
158  people  were  on  hand  to  cast  votes  at  the  election  held  in  October 
to  reestablish  some  kind  of  civic  administration.  Too  impatient  to  wait 
for  the  reestablishment  of  State  government,  the  people  met  at  a  public 
mass  meeting  in  February  1849,  organized  the  Legislative  Assembly,  and 
proceeded  merrily  to  make  their  own  laws.  The  Assembly  met  35  times 
before  it  was  dissolved  on  June  4  by  decree  of  the  military  governor  of 
the  State,  General  Bennet  Riley.  At  an  election  held  on  August  I, 
1,516  votes  were  cast,  all  for  John  W.  Geary  for  alcalde.  Later  that 
month  the  ayuntamiento  purchased  the  first  public  building  under  the 
American  regime — the  brig  Euphemia,  which  it  converted  into  a  jail. 

Anticipating  by  more  than  four  months  California's  admission  to 
the  Union,  the  city  was  incorporated  April  15,  1850.  Under  the  charter 
adopted  by  the  already  functioning  State  legislature,  a  mayor,  recorder, 
and  council  of  aldermen  were  elected  on  May  I.  The  police  depart- 
ment was  enlarged — but  "not  to  exceed  75  men" — and  a  fire  department 
headed  by  a  chief  engineer  was  established. 

At  its  first  meeting  on  May  9  the  council  members  promptly  rifled 
the  treasury  by  voting  to  pay  the  mayor,  recorder,  marshal,  and  city 
attorney  annual  salaries  of  $10,000  and  other  officials  including  them- 
selves, $4,000  to  $6,000.  Later  in  the  year,  anticipating  the  celebration 
of  the  admission  of  the  State  into  the  Union,  they  each  awarded  them- 
selves a  handsome  gold  medal  to  cost  $150,  the  expense  to  be  borne  by 
the  city.  Unfortunately  the  medals  were  not  completed  in  time  for 
the  celebration ;  when  they  did  arrive,  the  town  fell  into  such  an  uproar 
that  the  councilmen  prudently  paid  for  the  medals  out  of  their  own 
pockets  and  promptly  melted  them  into  "honest  bullion."  Despite  this, 
sacrifice,  the  city  was  $1,000,000  in  debt  before  the  end  of  the  year. 


CIVIC     CENTER       163 

The  adoption  of  a  new  charter  by  the  Legislature  in  1851  did  little 
to  halt  the  extravagance  of  the  officials  or  the  depredations  of  the 
increasing  criminal  element.  But  the  Consolidation  Act  passed  by  the 
State  Legislature  in  the  same  year,  which  authorized  merger  of  the 
City  and  County  of  San  Francisco,  creating  a  Board  of  Supervisors  to 
replace  the  double  board  of  aldermen  provided  for  by  the  charter  of 
1851,  served  to  establish  a  more  stable  civic  government.  It  was  to  be 
San  Francisco's  organic  law  for  44  years.  When  the  heat  of  the 
vigilante  movement  had  subsided,  a  reform  movement  headed  by  the 
People's  Party  gained  power  and  held  it  long  enough  to  put  compara- 
tively capable  men  into  office. 

When  the  old  city  hall  burned  down,  the  idea  of  transforming  the 
Plaza  into  a  reputable  center  of  municipal  government  moved  the 
council,  in  1852,  to  purchase  the  Jenny  Lind  Theater,  at  Washington 
and  Kearny  Streets,  for  a  new  seat.  So  exorbitant  was  the  $200,000 
paid  for  the  theater,  however,  that  a  storm  of  public  criticism  broke  out. 
But  the  building  had  to  serve.  In  1865  the  Board  of  Supervisors 
refused  to  pay  the  city's  gas  bill.  The  company  promptly  removed  its 
lanterns  from  the  street  posts  and  turned  off  the  gas  at  the  city  hall. 
That  evening  the  city  fathers,  each  carrying  a  flickering  candle,  stum- 
bled upstairs  to  discuss  the  lighting  situation. 

Finally,  in  1870,  construction  was  begun  on  a  new  city  hall  "away 
out  on  Larkin  Street"  at  a  site  then  known  as  Yerba  Buena  Park  (now 
the  site  of  the  Public  Library).  Originally  a  tangle  of  chaparral,  this 
tract  had  become  in  1850  Yerba  Buena  Cemetery.  Economy  was  the 
watchword.  The  city  fathers  planned  construction  on  the  installment 
basis,  paying  each  installment  out  of  an  annual  special  tax  levy.  But 
the  piecemeal  method  of  construction  boosted  costs  to  more  than  $7,000,- 
OOO,  far  beyond  original  estimates,  and  delayed  completion  for  many 
years.  As  the  city  grew  it  became  apparent  that  the  Consolidation  Act 
no  longer  sufficed  to  serve  its  needs.  Twice  James  Phelan,  who  headed 
the  reform  movement  that  swept  him  into  the  mayor's  chair  in  1897, 
attempted,  with  the  aid  of  a  Committee  of  One  Hundred,  to  secure 
adoption  of  a  new  charter,  but  without  success.  But  in  1900  the  elec- 
torate accepted  at  last  a  freeholders'  charter  which  loosened  the  State 
Legislature's  grip  on  municipal  affairs,  outlined  a  definite  policy  of 
municipal  ownership  of  public  utilities,  and  substituted  civil  service  for 
the  spoils  system  in  civic  administration. 

But  the  new  charter  was  not  enough  to  protect  the  city  government 
from  the  Ruef-Schmitz  ring,  into  whose  hands  it  fell  in  1902.  When 
the  old  city  hall  came  tumbling  down  in  less  than  60  seconds  at  the 
first  shock  of  the  earthquake  on  April  18,  1906,  municipal  wrath  gave 
impetus  to  the  already  gathering  movement  for  cleaning  house.  In 
1908  a  supervisors'  committee  solemnly  reported  that  "so  far  the  most 


164      SAN     FRANCISCO 

rigid  inspection  of  the  standing  and  fallen  walls  .  .  .  have  (sic)  failed 
to  disclose  any  large  voids  or  enclosed  boxes,  barrels  or  wheelbarrows 
that  have  been  told  in  many  an  old  tale  as  evidence  of  lax  supervision 
and  contractors'  deceits."  But  many  San  Franciscans  went  on  believing 
"many  an  old  tale."  And  when  they  decided  to  build  a  new  city  hall, 
they  were  determined  that  its  occupants  should  be  more  worthy  of  the 
public  trust  and  more  responsible  for  the  public  welfare. 

The  urgency  of  rebuilding  the  ruined  city  defeated  the  city  planning 
efforts  of  Daniel  H.  Burnham,  whose  vision  of  a  system  of  great  boule- 
vards encircling  and  radiating  from  the  intersection  of  Market  Street 
and  Van  Ness  Avenue  (and  the  extension  of  the  Golden  Gate  Park 
panhandle)  was  not  to  be  realized,  but  when  the  city  began,  in  1912,  to 
plan  for  the  Panama-Pacific  Exposition,  a  part  of  the  scheme  was  revived 
in  modified  form.  A  permanent  staff  of  architects  for  the  Civic  Center 
(John  Galen  Howard,  Frederick  H.  Meyer,  and  John  Reid,  Jr.)  was 
appointed  and  a  bond  issue  of  $8,800,000  voted  for  purchase  of  land  and 
construction  of  buildings. 

Under  the  municipal  ownership  provisions  of  the  new  charter, 
Mayor  Phelan's  dream  of  "a  clean  and  beautiful  City"  began  to  be 
realized.  San  Francisco  became  the  first  large  municipality  in  the 
Nation  to  establish  a  city-owned  street  railway  system,  which  opened 
December  28,  1912.  Under  the  supervision  of  veteran  City  Engi- 
neer Michael  Maurice  O'Shaughnessy,  construction  was  begun  at  Hetch 
Hetchy  of  the  great  dam  which  bears  his  name  and  of  the  1 68-mile 
aqueduct  which  brings  Tuolumne  River  water  to  the  city.  The  work 
continued  over  the  next  two  decades  until  1934.  In  I9I3»  under 
O'Shaughnessy's  direction,  the  first  comprehensive  system  of  boulevards 
was  formulated.  In  1927  the  San  Francisco  Municipal  Airport  was 
opened.  By  1940,  the  city-owned  utilities  system  was  valued  at  ap- 
proximately $167,000,000. 

Meanwhile  the  park  system  was  increased  to  a  total  of  45  parks 
covering  3,170  acres  (one-ninth  of  the  city's  area).  Since  the  establish- 
ment in  1907  of  a  Playground  Commission  (since  1932  the  Recreation 
Commission),  municipal  playgrounds  have  increased  to  a  total  of  45 
(exclusive  of  28  school  playgrounds),  where  during  the  fiscal  year 
1937-38  nearly  4,500,000  persons  participated  in  such  activities  as 
athletics,  gardening,  handicrafts,  music,  and  dramatics.  The  San  Fran- 
cisco Unified  School  District  in  the  same  fiscal  year  (its  87th)  was 
operating  102  public  schools,  including  ten  junior  high  and  eight  high 
schools  and  a  junior  college,  enrolling  an  average  of  81,297  students. 
The  library  system  was  extended  to  a  total  of  22  branches  serving 
130,000  persons.  The  M.  H.  de  Young  Memorial  Museum  and  the 
California  Palace  of  the  Legion  of  Honor,  a  city-subsidized  symphony 
orchestra  and  the  only  city-owned  opera  house  in  the  Nation,  San  Fran- 


CIVIC     CENTER       165 

cisco  Yacht  Harbor,  Aquatic  Park,  and  the  municipal  Fleishhacker  Zoo 
— all  added  to  San  Francisco's  attractions.  And  meanwhile,  as  San 
Francisco  became  a  more  healthful  and  attractive  city,  it  also  was 
becoming  a  safer  one.  Its  decreasing  crime  rate — between  1938  and 
1940  it  was  the  only  large  city  to  register  a  decrease — attested  to  the 
efficiency  of  its  police  department;  a  study  of  86  cities  made  in  1935 
showed  that  San  Francisco,  although  nth  among  American  com- 
munities in  population,  stood  2Oth  in  number  of  robberies  and  35th  in 
homicides. 

Just  as  the  city  had  outgrown  the  Consolidation  Act  of  1856,  drawn 
up  for  a  city  of  40,000,  so  it  outgrew  the  freeholders'  charter  of  1900, 
drawn  up  for  a  city  of  325,000.  Beginning  as  a  comparatively  short 
document,  the  old  charter  had  grown  by  process  of  amendment  to  304 
pages  of  articles,  chapters,  and  subdivisions.  In  1930  the  voters  elected 
a  board  of  15  freeholders  to  frame  a  new  charter.  Having  studied  the 
various  forms  of  municipal  government,  the  freeholders  formulated  a 
"strong  mayor"  plan  which  was  adopted  in  March  1931  and  put  into 
operation  in  January  1932,  under  the  administration  of  Angelo  J.  Rossi. 
Under  the  new  charter  the  mayor — writes  Chief  Administrative  Officer 
Alfred  J  Cleary — is  made  "a  strong  and  responsible  executive,  with 
the  power  of  appointment  of  the  principal  officials  and  members  of 
boards."  Officials  whose  duties  are  primarily  governmental  (policy- 
making)  were  continued  in  elective  positions;  those  whose  duties  are 
primarily  ministerial  (carrying  out  policies),  in  appointive  positions. 
To  the  Chief  Administrative  Officer  was  entrusted  responsibility  for 
supervision  of  departments  headed  by  the  latter  and  for  long-range 
planning;  to  the  Controller,  responsibility  for  financial  planning,  man- 
agement, and  control.  Under  the  new  charter's  provisions,  the  city's 
business  must  be  conducted  on  a  cash  basis  and  its  budget  balanced 
annually.  An  eleven-member  Board  of  Supervisors  was  retained  as  the 
legislative  branch  of  government  and  relieved  of  administrative  duties. 

POINTS  OF  INTEREST 

i.  Dominating  the  Civic  Center,  the  CITY  HALL,  Van  Ness  Ave., 
Polk,  McAllister,  and  Grove  Sts.,  lifts  its  gold-embellished  dome  308 
feet  above  ground  level — 16  feet  2^  inches  higher  than  the  National 
Capitol  in  Washington,  D.  C.,  as  Mayor  James  Rolph  used  to  boast. 
It  was  Rolph  who  broke  ground  for  the  new  structure  with  a  silver 
spade  April  5,  1913.  Second  unit  of  the  Civic  Center  to  be  completed, 
the  City  Hall  was  dedicated  December  28,  1915,  having  cost  $3,500,- 
ooo.  In  the  great  rotunda  under  the  dome,  Rolph  welcomed  the  world, 
receiving  a  long  procession  of  celebrated  visitors:  the  King  and  Queen 
of  Belgium,  Queen  Marie  of  Rumania,  Eamon  de  Valera,  William 


1 66      SAN     FRANCISCO 

Howard  Taft  and  Woodrow  Wilson.  Here  San  Francisco  made  merry 
all  night  long  to  celebrate  the  Armistice  in  1918.  Here  the  funeral  of 
President  Warren  G.  Harding  took  place  in  1923,  and  here,  in  1934, 
Rolph  himself  lay  in  state. 

Of  gray  California  granite  with  blue  and  gold  burnished  ironwork, 
the  building  conforms  to  the  French  Renaissance  style  of  the  Louis  XIV 
period,  its  east  and  west  facades  consisting  each  of  a  central  pediment 
supported  by  Doric  pillars  and  flanked  on  either  side  by  Doric  colon- 
nades. Rising  four  stories  high  and  covering  two  city  blocks,  it  was 


SAN  FRANCISCO'S 
CIVIC  CENTER 


designed  by  architects  John  Bakewell,  Jr.  and  Arthur  Brown,  Jr.  as  a 
hollow  rectangle,  408  by  285  feet,  enclosing  a  square  centerpiece  covered 
by  the  dome. 

On  the  Polk  Street  pediment,  the  symbolic  statuary  represents  San 
Francisco  standing  between  the  riches  of  California  and  Commerce  and 
Navigation;  on  the  Van  Ness  Avenue  pediment,  Wisdom  between  the 
Arts,  Learning,  and  Truth  and  Industry  and  Labor.  The  interior, 
with  its  marble  tile  flooring,  is  lavishly  finished  in  California  marble, 
Indiana  sandstone,  and  Eastern  oak.  Grouped  around  the  great  central 
court  are  the  offices  of  the  Registrar,  Tax  Collector,  and  Assessor.  From 
the  center  of  the  lobby  a  wide  marble  staircase  leads  to  the  second-floor 
gallery,  off  which  are  the  Mayor's  office  and  the  chamber  of  the  Board 
of  Supervisors.,  Similar  galleries  overlook  the  court  from  the  third  and 
fourth  floors.  The  vast  dome,  112  feet  in  diameter,  weighs  approxi- 


CIVIC     CENTER       167 

mately  90,000  tons  and  will  withstand  a  wind  load  of  30  pounds  per 
square  foot. 

On  the  fourth  floor  is  the  SAN  FRANCISCO  LAW  LIBRARY  (open. 
Mon.-Sat.  9  a.m.- 1 0:45  p.m.,,  Sun.  10:30-4:30),  a  free,  city-supported, 
reference  and  circulating  library  of  about  30,000  volumes. 

Near  the  Polk  Street  entrance  is  a  bronze  STATUE  OF  ABRAHAM 
LINCOLN  (Haig  Patigian,  sculptor),  seated  in  meditative  pose,  one  hand 
resting  on  his  knee.  Facing  the  street  named  for  him  is  a  bronze 
STATUE  OF  HALL  MCALLISTER  (Earl  Cummings,  sculptor),  a  dis- 
tinguished pioneer  attorney. 

2.  The  CIVIC  CENTER  PLAZA,  Grove,  Polk,  McAllister,  and 
Larkin  Sts.,  with  its  broad  red  brick  walks,   its   fountains  playing  in 
circular  pools,  its  great  flocks  of  pigeons,  its  flowerbeds  and  box  hedges, 
is  surrounded  by  a  row  of  acacia  trees  and  lined,  along  Larkin  Street, 
by  flagstaffs. 

3.  Since  the   CIVIC  AUDITORIUM,   Grove   St.  between   Polk 
and  Larkin  Sts.,  was  presented  to  the  city  by  the  Panama-Pacific  Inter- 
national  Exposition,   events   as   diverse   as   political   rallies,    automobile 
shows,  balls,  prize  fights,  operas,  symphony  concerts,  bicycle  races,  and 
circuses  have  been  held  here.     Memorable  have  been  the  "Town  Meet- 
ings," where  employers  and  union  men  met  in  amicable  debate;  the 
"dime"  symphony  concerts  of  the  WPA  Music  Project;  monster  mass 
meetings  demanding  freedom  for  Tom  Mooney;  the  National  conven- 
tions of  the  Democratic  Party  in  1920  and  of  the  American  Federation 
of  Labor  in  1934;  and  Max  Reinhardt's  presentation  of  The  Miracle, 
for  which  the  main  auditorium  was  converted  into  a  gigantic  cathedral. 
Designed  by  Arthur  Brown,  Jr.,  the  structure  is  four  stories  high,  with 
a    facade   of    California    granite   ornamented    in    carved    stone    and    a 
pyramidal   tile   roof   topped   by  a   great   tile-covered   octagonal    dome. 
Besides  the  main  auditorium,  seating  10,000,  and  the  two  companion 
auditoriums — Polk  Hall  and  Larkin  Hall,  each  seating  1,200 — which 
flank  it,  it  contains  21  smaller  halls  and  twelve  committee  rooms.    Over- 
hanging the  vast  arena,    187   by  200  feet,  which  can   be  enlarged  to 
include  the  two  companion  halls  or  diminished  by  use  of  electrically 
operated  curtains,  is  a  spectacular  canvas  canopy  painted  to  simulate  sky 
and  clouds,  bordered  by  Gleb  and  Peter  Ilyin's  mural  insets.     From 
three  sides  great  balconies  overlook  the  go-foot  stage.    The  four-manual 
console  of  the  great  organ  controls  the  six  distinct  parts:  great,  swell, 
choir,  solo,  pedal,  and  echo  organs.     The  largest  pipe  is  32  feet  long 
and  20  inches  in  diameter. 

4.  The   city's   public   health    supervision   centers   in   the    four-story 
HEALTH    CENTER   BUILDING    (open   weekdays   8-5),   corner 
Grove  and  Polk  Sts.,  erected  in  1931-32.     It  houses  various  clinics,  the 


l68      SAN     FRANCISCO 

Central  Emergency  Hospital,  and  offices  of  the  Health  Department  of 
the  Bureau  of  Inspection. 

5.  Twin  structures — the  OPERA  HOUSE  (open  weekdays  10-4), 
NW.  corner  Van  Ness  Ave.  and  Grove  St.,  and  the  Veterans'  Building 
(see  below) — form  the  War  Memorial  of  San  Francisco,  erected  in 
1932  as  a  tribute  to  the  city's  war  dead.     The  buildings  are  similar  in 
external  appearance,  patterned  in  classic  style  to  conform  with  other 
Civic  Center  structures.     Against  the  rusticated  terra  cotta  of  their 
facades,  rising  from  granite  bases  and  steps  and  surmounted  by  mansard 
roofs,  are  placed  free-standing  granite  columns. 

This,  the  Nation's  only  municipally-owned  opera  house  (Arthur 
Brown,  Jr.,  architect;  G.  Albert  Lansburgh,  associate),  represented  the 
achievement  of  years  of  struggle  by  San  Francisco  music  lovers  for  an 
ise  of  theipewn.  It  was  opened  on  October  15,  1932  with 
Lily  PonsWnginjjXTojcj).  The  auditorium,  seating  3,285  persons,  is 
ratecL  '1  he  floor  of  the  orchestra  pit  can  be  raised  and 
lowered.  The  stage  is  131  feet  wide,  83  feet  deep,  and  120  feet  from 
floor  to  roof.  At  the  3O-foot-long  switchboard,  all  the  lighting  com- 
binations required  for  an  entire  performance  can  be  set  in  advance  and 
released  in  proper  order  by  the  throwing  of  a  single  switch. 

6.  Beyond  massive  gilt-trimmed  iron  fences  stretch  the  green  lawns 
of   MEMORIAL   COURT,    separating   the   Opera    House   and   the 
Veterans'    Building.      Severely    formal,    it   was    designed    by   Thomas 
Church  with  planting  in  long  flat  masses  to  conform  to  its  architectural 
setting. 

7.  The  four-story  VETERANS'   BUILDING    (open  8  a.m.   to 
indefinite  hour),  SW.  corner  Van  Ness  Ave.  and  McAllister  St.,  houses 
over  ico  veterans'  organizations.     From  the  vestibule  on  the  main  floor 
of   the   building    (Arthur   Brown,   Jr.,   architect),    a   long,   columned 
Trophy  Gallery  with  cast  stone  walls,  vaulted  ceiling,  and  marble  floor 
leads  to  the  Souvenir  Gallery.     Here  the  coffered  ceiling  and  stone 
walls  give  quiet  sanctuary  to  a  display  of  military  medals  and  souvenirs. 
Over  a  granite  cenotaph  with  a  bronze  urn  containing  earth  from  four 
American   cemeteries   in   France,   a   light   burns   perpetually.      In   the 
auditorium,  seating  1,106  persons,  arched  panels  between  the  pilasters 
of  the  side  walls  contain  eight  murals  by  Frank  Brangwyn  depicting 
earth,  air,  fire,  and  water.     The  maple  floor  can  be  tilted  to  afford  a 
clear  view  of  the  stage  or  levelled  into  a  dance  floor.     On  the  second 
floor  is  the  genealogical  library  of  the  Sons  of  the  American  Revolution. 
The  corridors  on  both  second  and  third  floors  are  lined  with  meeting 
and  lodge  rooms. 

The  13  galleries  of  the  SAN  FRANCISCO  MUSEUM  OF  ART  (open 
weekdays  12  m.-io  p.m.;  Sun.  7-5),  on  the  fourth  floor,  are  gained  by 
elevator  from  the  McAllister  Street  side.  The  permanent  collection  of 


CIVIC     CENTER       169 

painting  and  sculpture  is  predominantly  the  work  of  modern  artists 
including  Van  Gogh,  Cezanne,  Matisse,  Hofer,  Bracque,  Roualt,  and 
Picasso.  The  Diego  Rivera  collection,  not  on  display  at  present  (1940), 
is  one  of  the  most  important  in  the  United  States.  There  are  frequent 
loan  exhibits  of  the  work  of  contemporary  artists.  Here  also  are  an  art 
library  and  lecture  room.  The  San  Francisco  Art  Association  opened 
the  museum  in  1935  with  Dr.  Grace  McCann  Morley  as  director. 

8.  The  STATE  BUILDING  ANNEX,  515  Van  Ness  Ave.,  a  six- 
story   building,   houses   offices   of   the   California   Nautical    School;   of 
several  divisions  of  the  Departments  of   Education  and  of   Industrial 
Relations ;  and  of  the  Department  of  Professional  and  Vocational  Stand- 
ards.    Here  also  is  the  Hastings  College  of  Law  (University  of  Cali- 
fornia), founded  and  endowed  in   1878  by  Serrano  Clinton  Hastings, 
first  Chief  Justice  of  the  California  Supreme  Court. 

9.  In   two-story   PIONEER   HALL,    456   McAllister   St.    (open 
Mon.-Fri.  10-4;  Sat.  10-12),  occupied  jointly  since  June,  1938  by  the 
Society  of  California  Pioneers  and  the  California  Historical  Society,  an 
exhibit   of  firearms,   mining  implements,    and   poker   chips   keeps   alive 
memories   of   the   days   of   '49.      The    Society   of    California   Pioneers, 
founded  in  1850,  limits  its  membership  to  direct  descendants  of  the  early 
settlers.    The  California  Historical  Society,  founded  in  1852,  publishes 
books,  pamphlets,  and  a  quarterly  on  Western  history.    The  two  organ- 
izations  maintain   libraries   of   some   40,000  volumes   and   own   many 
manuscripts,  documents,  and  historic  prints  and  illustrations  concerning 
California. 

10.  The  block-long,  five-story  granite  STATE  BUILDING,  Mc- 
Allister, Polk,  and  Larkin  Sts.,  in  the  Italian  Renaissance  style,  was 
built  in  1926  at  a  cost  of  $1,800,000.     It  houses  offices  of  the  Governor 
and  Attorney  General  and  other  divisions  of  the  State  government. 

1 1 .  A  ragged  senate  of  unemployed  philosophers  gathers  daily  along 
the  "wailing  wall'  by  the  south  entrance  of  the  SAN  FRANCISCO 
PUBLIC   LIBRARY,    Fulton,    Larkin,    and    McAllister    Sts.    (open 
weekdays  g  a.m.-io  p.m.;  Sun.  1:30-$  p.m.).     Around  the  corner,  Leo 
Lentelli's  imperturbable  heroic-size  statues  symbolizing  Art,  Literature, 
Philosophy,  Science,  and  Law,  posed  between  Ionic  columns,  wear  a 
calmer  mien.     Across  the  granite  facade  are  carved  the  words:  "May 
this  structure,  throned  on  imperishable  books,  be  maintained  and  cher- 
ished from  generation  to  generation  for  the  improvement  and  delight  of 
mankind."     The  140,000  books  on  which  the  library  was  "throned"  in 
1906,  however,  were  unfortunately  no  more  imperishable  than  was  the 
old  City  Hall's  McAllister  Street  wing,  in  whose  wreckage  they  were 
destroyed.     For  the  design  of  its  new  home,  the  architect,  George  W. 
Kelham,  selected  Italian  Renaissance  as  "seeming  best  to  represent  the 
scholarly    atmosphere    which    a    library    should    attempt    to    convey." 


1 70      SAN     FRANCISCO 

Ground  was  broken  in  March,  1915  and  dedication  ceremonies  held 
February  15,  1917.  Of  the  $1,152,000  expended  on  construction  and 
equipment,  $375,000  was  contributed  by  Andrew  Carnegie  (he  con- 
tributed a  like  amount  for  construction  of  branch  library  buildings). 

The  board  of  trustees  who  organized  the  library  in  1878  boasted 
among  its  n  members  Andrew  S.  Hallidie  (inventor  of  the  cable  car) 
and  at  least  one  renowned  writer — Henry  George,  author  of  Progress 
and  Poverty.  With  an  appropriation  of  $24,000  from  the  Board  of 
Supervisors,  the  trustees  bought  6,000  books,  installed  them  in  a  rented 
hall,  and  invited  the  public  to  come  and  read  (but  not  to  borrow)  them. 
The  library  opened  its  doors  June  7,  1879.  During  the  third  fiscal 
year,  when  books  were  first  circulated,  10,500  persons  held  cards.  The 
number  had  almost  tripled  by  the  eve  of  the  library's  destruction  in  the 
wreckage  of  the  City  Hall,  where  it  had  been  installed  in  1888.  With 
about  25,000  volumes,  returned  from  homes  and  branches  after  the 
disaster,  it  continued  operations  in  temporary  quarters.  The  library's 
collection  had  grown  by  1940  to  520,000  volumes,  the  number  of  card 
holders  to  140,000,  and  the  annual  circulation  to  more  than  4,000,000. 
Besides  the  main  library,  the  system  includes  21  branch  libraries  and  5 
deposit  stations. 

From  the  main  entrance  vestibule,  where  a  bronze  bust  of  Edward 
Robeson  Taylor,  who  was  both  poet  and  mayor  (1907-10),  stands  in 
an  alcove,  a  corridor  leads  to  the  exhibit  hall,  juvenile  rooms,  and  news- 
paper room  along  the  south  side  of  the  building.  A  monumental  stair- 
case rises  to  the  high-ceilinged  delivery  room,  on  the  second  floor,  finished 
— like  both  the  entrance  vestibule  and  the  staircase — in  soft  beige- 
colored  Roman  travertine  and  an  imitation  travertine  made  locally. 
The  main  reading  room,  opening  from  it,  extends  along  the  south  side, 
leading  to  the  Max  John  Kuhl  Memorial  Room.  Above  the  desk  in 
the  reading  room  is  Pioneers  Arriving  in  the  West,  one  of  two  large 
murals  by  Frank  Vincent  Du  Mond  painted  for  the  Panama-Pacific 
International  Exposition.  From  the  head  of  the  staircase,  colonnaded 
galleries — on  whose  walls  are  Gottardo  Piazzoni's  murals  of  the  Cali- 
fornia landscape,  in  low-keyed  blues  and  browns — lead  to  the  reference 
room  and  art  library  along  the  west  front.  Both  the  reading  and  the 
reference  rooms  are  finished  with  cork-tiled  flooring,  dark  oak  wood- 
work, and  painted  beam  ceilings.  On  the  east  wall  of  the  reference 
room  is  Du  Mond's  mural,  Pioneers  Leaving  the  East.  On  the  third 
floor  are  the  periodical  room,  music  library,  assembly  room,  patent  room, 
secretary's  office,  and  Phelan  Memorial  Room.  Along  the  north  side  of 
the  building  are  the  stacks. 

The  library's  collection  is  notable  chiefly  in  the  fields  of  music,  fine 
arts,  costume;  and  world  literature.  The  music  library,  containing 
7,400  volumes  of  music,  8,000  pieces  of  sheet  music,  and  5,000  pictures, 


CIVIC     CENTER       IJI 

is  one  of  the  largest  in  the  United  States.  In  the  Max  John  Kuhl 
Memorial  Collection  of  examples  of  fine  printing  and  bookbinding  are 
books  from  the  presses  of  such  San  Francisco  typographical  artists  as 
Helen  Gentry,  John  Henry  Nash,  and  Edwin  Grabhorn.  The  collec- 
tion includes  a  Kelmscott  Chaucer,  an  Asbendene  Spenser,  and  a  Dove's 
Press  English  Bible.  The  collection  of  Californiana,  housed  in  a  room 
made  possible  by  James  D.  Phelan,  who  willed  $10,000  for  establish- 
ment of  the  Phelan  Memorial  Room,  contains  manuscripts,  autographs, 
and  first  editions  of  California  authors  including  Bret  Harte,  Mark 
Twain,  Joaquin  Miller,  Ina  Coolbrith,  Ambrose  Bierce,  Jack  London, 
George  Sterling,  and  Gertrude  Atherton. 

On  condition  that  they  never  be  removed  from  San  Francisco,  the 
heirs  of  Adolph  Sutro — San  Francisco  mining  engineer,  philanthropist, 
and  one-time  mayor — presented  in  1913  to  the  State  from  his  private 
library  70,000  volumes  which  escaped  the  fire  of  1906.  This  collection, 
now  in  the  SUTRO  BRANCH  OF  THE  CALIFORNIA  STATE  LIBRARY  (loan 
desk  and  catalogue  N.  end  of  reference  room)  is  open  to  qualified 
scholars.  It  includes  45  of  the  3,000  incunabula  in  the  original  collec- 
tion, among  which  are  the  letters  of  St.  Jerome  printed  by  Peter 
Schoefrer  in  1470.  In  the  collection  of  many  thousand  Spanish  and 
Mexican  books  are  a  compilation  of  Mexican  laws  published  in  1548 
and  42  volumes  bearing  American  imprints  of  the  seventeenth  century. 
There  are  copies  of  the  first,  second,  third,  and  fourth  folios  of  Shake- 
speare and  first  and  second  folios  of  Ben  Jonson.  The  religious  works 
include  the  prayer  books  of  James  I  and  Charles  II  and  a  Bible  used 
by  Father  Junipero  Serra.  Well-known  to  Hebrew  scholars  is  the 
collection  of  Hebrew  manuscripts  obtained  in  Jerusalem,  at  least  one 
of  which — a  9O-foot  scroll,  probably  of  sheepskin — is  attributed  to 
Maimonides.  The  library  also  owns  a  notable  collection  of  pamphlets 
on  biographical,  political,  and  religious  subjects — Latin,  German,  Mexi- 
can, Spanish,  and  English — of  the  seventeenth,  eighteenth,  and  nine- 
teenth centuries,  including  the  thousands  of  English  pamphlets,  docu- 
ments, and  parliamentary  journals  collected  by  Lord  Macaulay  in  writing 
his  history  of  England. 

12.  Women  air  their  babies  and  exercise  their  dogs,  schoolboys  play 
football,  and  down-and-outers  snatch  a  bit  of  sun  and  sleep  on  MAR- 
SHALL SQUARE,  Grove,  Larkin,  Hyde,  and  Fulton  Sts.,  named  for 
James  W.  Marshall,  discoverer  of  gold  in  California.  The  last  of  the 
coffins  was  removed  from  the  sandy  graves  of  the  old  cemetery  here  in 
1870.  During  the  following  decade  the  "sand  lots"  were  the  meeting 
place  for  gatherings  addressed  by  fakirs,  phrenologists,  and  socialists. 
Unemployed  workmen  applauded  the  harangues  of  an  Irish  drayman 
with  shouts  of  "The  Chinese  must  go — Dennis  Kearney  tells  us  so!" 


172      SAN     FRANCISCO 

Sixty  years  later,  in  the  depression  of  the  1 930*3,  the  unemployed  met 
here  again  in  great  mass  meetings. 

13.  The  PIONEER  MONUMENT,  Grove,  Hyde,  and  Market 
Sts.,  keeps  alive  the  memory  of  James  Lick,  who  came  to  San  Francisco 
in  1847  and  died  a  multimillionaire  in  1876.     He  left  the  city  a  bequest 
of  $3,000,000,  of  which  his  will  earmarked  $100,000  for   "statuary 
emblematic  of  the  significant  epochs  in  the  history  of  California  .  .  ." 
The  Pioneer  Monument  (Frank  Happersberger,  sculptor),  whose  cor- 
nerstone was  laid   September    10,    1894,   is   a  great  central   pediment 
upholding  a  bronze  figure  symbolizing  California,  with  her  spear  and 
shield  and  bear,   from  whose  base  project  four  piers,  each  supporting 
subsidiary  statuary:  Early  Days,  Plenty,  In  '4.9,  and  Commerce.     The 
central  pedestal  is  ornamented  with  four  bronze  bas-reliefs — depicting 
immigrants  scaling  the  Sierra,  traders  bargaining  with  the  Indians,  cow- 
boys lassoing  a  steer,  and  California  under  the  rule  of  the  Mexicans 
and  the  Americans — and  with  five  relief  portraits  of  James  Lick,  John 
Charles  Fremont,  Francis  Drake,  Junipero  Serra,  and  Johann  August 
Sutter. 

14.  The  grayish- white  granite  walls  of  the  massive  five-story,  block- 
square  FEDERAL  BUILDING,   Hyde,   Fulton,   McAllister,   and   Leaven- 
worth  Sts.  (open  8-$  Mon.-Fri.;  8-1  Sat.),  newest  of  the  Civic  Center 
group,  was  completed  in  1936  at  a  cost  of  $3,000,000  (Arthur  Brown, 
Jr.,  architect).     Its  422  rooms  house  approximately  1,275  employees  of 
33  divisions  of  the  Federal  government. 

15.  Situated  just  outside  the  orbit  of  the  Civic  Center,  the  weathered 
four-story    UNITED    STATES    COURTHOUSE    AND    POST- 
OFFICE  BUILDING  (open  6  a.m.-i2  p.m.),  NE.  corner  Seventh  and 
Mission  Sts.,  glittered  in  new  white  granite  grandeur  late  in   1905. 
The  building  on  its  foundation  of  piling  withstood  the  earthquake  and 
fire  of  the  following  year,  but  the  sidewalk  and  street — built  over  the 
bed  of  a  former  stream — sank  several  feet,  and  the  building  now  obvi- 
ously stands  higher  than  the  original  sidewalk  level.     Having  withstood 
the  flames,  it  was  easily  refurbished.    The  building,  designed  in  Italian 
Renaissance  style  by  James  Knox  Taylor,  cost  $2,500,000,   to  which 
$450,000  was  added  for  improvements  after  1906.     (In  1933  a  $750,000 
annex  was  added.)     After  Congress  had  appropriated  the  original  funds, 
the  price  of  steel  dropped  sharply  below  original  estimates  and  in  the 
absence  of  any  law  providing  for  its  return  to  the  Treasury,  the  surplus 
was   spent   in   lavish   interior   decorations.      Not   only  were    Carrara, 
Pavonezza,  Sienna,  and  Numidian  marble  imported  but  skilled  Italian 
artisans  were  imported  with  them  to  install  the  verd  antique  trimmings 
of  the  corridors,   the  elaborate  mosaics   of   the  columns   and   vaulted 
ceilings.     The'  court  chambers  were  panelled  in  California  curly  red- 
wood, Mexican  Prima  Vera  mahogany,  antique  oak,  and  East  Indian 


CIVIC     CENTER       173 

mahogany,  and  immense  ornate  fireplaces  (which  never  have  been  used) 
were  installed. 

San  Francisco's  central  post  office,  with  its  financial  and  executive 
offices,  occupies  the  first  floor.  On  the  second  floor  are  the  offices  of 
the  Railway  and  Air  Mail  Services;  district  chief  clerks  of  the  third 
and  fourth  post  office  districts  and  superintendent  of  the  eighth  divi- 
sion; and  Post  Office  Inspector  in  Charge,  whose  department  includes 
Arizona,  California,  and  Nevada;  Hawaii,  Guam,  and  Samoa. 

The  United  States  Circuit  Court  of  Appeals,  on  the  third  floor, 
has  the  widest  territorial  jurisdiction  of  any  circuit  court  in  the  Nation, 
hearing  cases  from  Arizona,  California,  Idaho,  Montana,  Oregon,  and 
Washington,  from  Alaska  and  Hawaii,  and  from  the  United  State  extra- 
territorial court  in  Shanghai.  Here  also  are  the  chambers  of  the  United 
States  District  Courts  and  the  offices  of  divisions  of  the  Department  of 
Justice,  of  the  Mineral  Production  and  Economics  Division  of  the 
Bureau  of  Mines,  and  of  the  Naturalization  Service. 

A  far  cry  from  these  splendid  marble  corridors  was  the  city's  first 
post  office,  the  frame  building  housing  C.  L.  Ross  and  Company's  New 
York  Store  at  Washington  and  Montgomery  Streets,  where  in  April, 
1849  postmaster  John  White  Geary  removed  a  pane  of  glass  from  the 
front  window  and  began  dealing  out  the  5,000  letters  he  had  brought 
with  him  on  the  Oregon.  Following  the  arrival  of  the  fortnightly  mail 
steamer  from  Panama,  wrote  the  British  traveler,  J.  D.  Borthwick,  in 
1851,  "a  dense  crowd  of  people  collected,  almost  blocking  up  the  two 
streets  which  gave  access  to  the  post-office.  .  .  .  Smoking  and  chewing 
tobacco  were  great  aids  in  passing  the  time,  and  many  came  provided 
with  books  and  newspapers.  ...  A  man's  place  in  the  line  .  .  .  like 
any  other  piece  of  property  .  .  .  was  bought  and  sold  .  .  .  Ten  or  fifteen 
dollars  were  frequently  paid  for  a  good  position  .  .  .  There  was  one 
window  devoted  exclusively  to  the  use  of  foreigners  .  .  .  and  here  a 
polyglot  individual  .  .  .  answered  the  demands  of  all  European  nations, 
and  held  communication  with  Chinamen,  Sandwich  Islanders,  and  all 
the  stray  specimens  of  humanity  from  unknown  parts  of  the  earth." 

"Steamer  Day,"  the  beginning  and  middle  of  each  month,  which 
brought  not  only  the  mail  but  also  the  Eastern  papers — only  source  of 
news  of  the  outside  world — became  a  San  Francisco  institution.  For 
a  week  the  population  prepared  its  letters  and  its  gold  dust — of  which 
millions  of  dollars'  worth  were  shipped  East — for  the  fortnightly  out- 
going steamer.  Even  after  1858,  when  the  Overland  Stage  Line  to  St. 
Louis  began  carrying  eight  mails  each  month  and  the  Pony  Express  to 
St.  Joseph  two  a  week,  the  custom  continued,  and  business  men  paid 
their  accounts  on  Steamer  Day.  Not  until  the  i88o's  did  the  cus- 
tom end. 


Metropolitan  Scene 

"There  are  just  three  big  cities  In  the  United  States  that  are 
'story  cities' — New  York,  of  course,  New  Orleans,  and  best  of  the 
lot  San  Francisco." 

— FRANK  NORRIS 


TIMES  SQUARE  and  Picadilly  Circus  recall  the  metropolitan 
grandeur  of  New  York  and  London.  Although  San  Francisco 
has  no  single  spectacular  landmark  by  which  the  world  may 
identify  it,  the  greatest  cities  have  long  since  welcomed  it  into  their 
company.  Portsmouth  Square,  the  Palace  Hotel,  and  the  Ferry  Build- 
ing, which  served  successively  as  symbols  of  civic  vanity,  no  longer 
resound  with  much  more  public  clamor  than  many  another  plaza,  hos- 
telry, or  terminal.  Only  Market  Street  accents  for  the  casual  observer 
San  Francisco's  metropolitan  character. 

Southwestward  from  the  Ferry  Building  to  Twin  Peaks  Tunnel, 
Market  Street's  wide,  unswerving  diagonal  bisects  the  city.  To  Market 
Street,  as  to  Rome,  lead  all  downtown  streets,  converging  from  north, 
southeast,  and  west  at  wedge-shaped  intersections  where  traffic  tangles 
bewilderingly.  Northward,  where  slopes  rise  steeply  to  hilltops,  are 
shops,  clubs,  theaters,  office  buildings,  luxury  hotels,  and  apartment 
houses — the  center  of  San  Francisco's  commercial  activities  and  vortex 
of  its  social  whirl.  Southward — in  what  is  still  "South  of  the  Slot" 
to  old-timers — abruptly  begin  the  row  upon  row  of  pawn  shops,  fly- 
specked  restaurants,  and  shabby  lodginghouses  that  stretch  over  level 
ground  to  the  warehouses,  factories,  and  railroad  yards  along  the  Bay's 
edge. 

Jasper  O'Farrell's  survey,  a  century  ago,  laid  the  foundation  for 
Market  Street's  development.  Long  before  the  forty-niners  paved  it 
with  planks,  the  tallow  and  hides  of  Peninsula  ranches  rolled  down  its 
rutted  trail  in  Mexican  oxcarts  to  Yerba  Buena  Cove.  Hundred-wr« 
lots  along  the  street's  southern  side  were  considered  ideal  business  loca- 
tions ;  and  the  width  of  the  thoroughfare  determined  its  future.  Steam- 
cars,  in  the  iSyo's  and  i88o's,  brought  along  it  passengers  to  be  de- 
posited in  frock  coats  and  crinolines  before  the  Palace  Hotel.  Before 
the  disaster  of  1906,  cable  cars  went  careening  up  the  street,  like 
diminutive  galleons  riding  on  waves  of  basalt  pavement  whose  sand 
foundation  sank  unevenly  beneath  the  traffic. 

A  hundred  and  twenty  feet  wide,  Market  Street  epitomizes  Western 
spaciousness.  At  its  upper  end  soar  the  crests  of  Twin  Peaks,  green 

174 


METROPOLITAN     SCENE       175 

with  grass  in  spring.  Flooded  with  sunlight  on  clear  days,  it  contrasts 
sharply  with  the  dingy  canyons  of  neighboring  streets  devised  for  shop- 
ping and  finance.  After  dark,  gleaming  with  neon  fluorescence  of 
lighted  signboards,  it  is  a  broad  white  way.  Thanks  to  the  fire  of 
1906,  which  piled  the  thoroughfare  high  with  debris  of  baroque  mon- 
strosities, its  contours  are  obstructed  by  few  grotesque  domes  and 
fantastic  facades,  once  the  pride  of  the  bonanza  generation.  With  its 
streamlined  array  of  neon  signs,  movie-theater  marquees,  neat  awnings, 
and  gleaming  windowglass,  Market  Street's  predominant  tone  is  one 
of  settled  progress  housed  in  masonry  and  concrete. 

To  millions  of  visitors  who  have  ventured  through  the  portals  of  the 
Ferry  Building  at  its  southern  end  to  set  foot  for  the  first  time  in  the 
city  of  St.  Francis,  Market  Street  must  have  seemed  a  little  frightening. 
After  a  calm  leisurely  ferryboat  voyage  from  the  main  railroad  ter- 
minals across  the  Bay,  the  visitor  plunged  into  what  was  obviously  a 
traffic  engineer's  nightmare.  A  huge  three-track  trolley  loop — encircling 
a  forlorn  plot  of  bush  and  grass — routes  a  succession  of  clanging  electric 
juggernauts  past  the  Ferry  Building  and  back  up  Market  Street.  Un- 
fortunately for  streetcar  riders,  Market  Street  is  wide  enough  to  accom- 
modate four  tracks — a  pair  for  each  of  the  city's  two  systems.  Boarding 
cars  which  ride  the  inner  pair  calls  for  a  dauntlessness  peculiar  to  San 
Francisco  pedestrians.  When  two  cars  come  thundering  abreast  down 
the  tracks,  the  cautious  commuter  waits  for  both  to  stop,  then  darts 
around  the  back  of  the  outside  car  to  board  the  inside  one;  but  hardier 
souls  take  a  firm  stand  in  the  narrow  gap  between  tracks,  breathing  in 
as  two  cars  roar  by  on  either  side.  Market  Street  at  five  o'clock  on  a 
workday  afternoon  is  a  deafening  concourse  of  streetcars  plunging 
through  swirling  eddies  of  pedestrians,  passengers  bulging  from  doors 
and  agile  youths  swarming  over  rear  fenders. 

Along  both  its  upper  and  lower  reaches,  Market  Street  has  little  of 
that  dynamic  tempo  which  marks  its  middle  stretch.  The  first  few 
blocks  southwest  of  the  Ferry  Building  pass  between  low  buildings — 
railroad  and  steamship  offices,  nautical  supply  stores,  transient  hotels — 
before  skyscrapers  begin  flinging  lofty  heads  heavenward.  Beyond  the 
reach  of  shoppers,  this  section  is  never  crowded;  late  at  night,  it  is 
gloomy  and  deserted  except  for  an  occasional  streetcar,  a  lone  roisterer, 
or  a  solitary  patrolman.  Where  it  skirts  the  Civic  Center  on  its  south- 
westward  route,  the  solid  phalanx  of  office  buildings,  theaters  and  stores 
begins  to  show  gaps,  thinning  into  strings  of  paint  stores,  second-hand 
book  shops,  and  parking  lots,  until  the  black  mouth  of  Twin  Peaks 
Tunnel  swallows  the  streetcar  tracks.  That  Market  Street  along  whose 
broad  sidewalks  moves  the  informal  pageant  of  San  Franciscans  on 
parade  comprises  nine  blocks  between  Hyde  Street  on  the  west  and 
Montgomery  Street  on  the  east. 


176      SAN     FRANCISCO 

The  windswept  corner  at  Powell  and  Market  begins  a  gay,  devil- 
may-care  street  that  has  for  better  than  half  a  century  fascinated  and 
delighted  both  native  and  visitor.  Unlike  the  tiny  slow  cable  cars  that 
clang  up  and  down  the  Powell  Street  hill  to  be  reversed  on'  the  turn- 
table at  Market  Street,  life  always  has  run  fast  and  a  little  loose  along 
this  narrow  urban  canyon.  On  the  east  corner  of  Powell  and  Market 
stood  the  Baldwin  Theater,  housed  within  a  hideously  ornate  hotel 
of  the  period.  Around  the  corner  on  Eddy  Street  was  the  Tivoli 
Theater,  where  patrons  sat  at  tables  and  ate  and  sipped  refreshments 
while  watching  the  performance.  Although  the  fire  of  1906  razed 
the  entire  area,  Powell  Street  and  environs  maintained  their  reputation 
by  immediately  rebuilding.  The  district  became  known  as  the  "Up- 
town Tenderloin."  Until  the  Eighteenth  Amendment  relegated  pleas- 
ure spots  to  back  rooms,  it  was  replete  with  lively  restaurants,  saloons, 
and  cabarets — whose  names  make  older  residents  yearn  for  the  "good 
old  days."  Techau  Tavern  stood  on  the  site  of  the  present  bank  at  the 
southwest  corner  of  Powell  and  Eddy;  the  Portola  Louvre,  across  the 
street.  Around  the  corner  at  35  Ellis  Street  was  the  Heidleberg  Inn, 
and  at  168  O'Farrell  Street,  the  famous  old  Tait-Zinkand  cabaret, 
across  from  the  Orpheum  Theater  where  vaudeville  was  born.  Fabu- 
lous Tessie  Wall  kept  her  red  plush  and  gilt  bagnio  on  the  southwest 
corner  of  Powell  and  O'Farrell  Streets — Tessie  Wall,  who  reigned 
before  Prohibition  as  "Queen  of  the  Tenderloin,"  whose  answer  to  her 
husband,  gambler  Frank  Daroux,  when  he  asked  her  to  move  to  a 
suburban  home  in  San  Mateo  is  still  quoted:  "San  Mateo!  Why  I'd 
rather  be  an  electric  light  pole  on  Powell  Street  than  own  all  of  the 
county."  Mason  Street,  one  block  west  of  Powell,  was  the  "White 
Way,"  sparkling  with  the  lights  of  Kelly's  place,  Jimmy  Stacks'  cabaret, 
the  later  Poodle  Dog,  and  Billy  Lyons'  saloon,  "the  Bucket  of  Blood." 

Powell  Street,  now  relieved  of  suggested  rowdiness  by  smart  hotels, 
shops,  and  bars,  has  outlived  its  past.  The  hilarious  uptown  tenderloin 
which  rivalled  the  Barbary  Coast  has  receded  to  streets  immediately 
west.  This  newer,  downtown  tenderloin  is  a  district  of  subdued  gaiety 
that  awakens  at  nightfall — a  region  of  apartment  houses  and  hotels, 
corner  groceries  and  restaurants,  small  night  clubs  and  bars,  gambling 
lofts,  bookmakers'  hideouts,  and  other  fleshpots  of  the  unparticular. 
Techau's,  the  dine-and-dance  place  renowned  for  "an  appearance  of 
Saturnalia,"  is  today  the  name  of  an  ultra-modern  cocktail  bar  at 
another  Powell  Street  address.  The  old  Portola-Louvre  at  Powell 
and  Market — described  as  "that  which  takes  the  rest  out  of  restaurant 
and  puts  the  din  in  dinner" — is  now  a  quiet  cafeteria  more  modestly 
named.  Whatever  remains  of  the  great  tradition  of  such  theaters  as 
the  Baldwin  is  .preserved  at  the  city's  only  two  legitimate  houses,  on 
Geary  Street  west  of  Powell. 


METROPOLITAN     SCENE       177 

Between  Geary  and  Post  Streets,  where  Powell  Street  begins  its 
climb  up  Nob  Hill — that  climb  which  leads  it  up,  up,  and  up  to  where 
stood  gaudy  mansions  of  the  bonanza  "nabobs" — the  solemn  gray-green 
stone  facade  of  the  St.  Francis  Hotel  faces  eastward  over  the  sloping 
green  turf  and  venerable  palms  of  Union  Square.  Here  the  benches 
are  packed  the  day  long  with  successful  men  and  failures  feeding  pan- 
handling pigeons  or  humming  together  at  one  of  the  semi-weekly  WPA 
Music  Project's  noonday  concerts.  Clerks  and  nurses,  salesmen  and 
stenographers,  eat  their  lunches  on  the  grass.  Chinese  boys  scurry  along 
the  paths,  shouldering  bootblack  kits,  alert  for  dusty  shoes.  Along  the 
wrought-iron  picket  fence  on  the  south  side,  drivers  of  long  limousines 
lounge  in  their  cars,  waiting  for  sightseeing  customers. 

Union  Square  is  the  heart  of  that  area  of  shops  and  hotels  which 
represents  to  an  international  clientele  and  to  San  Franciscans  the  city's 
traditional  demand  for  quality.  Here  department  stores  have  for  so 
many  decades  been  custodians  of  public  taste — their  founders  being 
patrons  of  the  arts  and  bon  vivants — that  their  very  buildings  are  con- 
sidered public  institutions.  Along  Grant  Avenue,  Geary,  Stockton, 
Post,  and  O'Farrell  Streets,  the  gleaming  windows  of  perfume  and 
jewelry  shops,  travel  bureaus,  art  goods  and  book  stores,  apparel  and 
furniture  shops  entice  throngs  of  shoppers.  Near  these  stores  flower- 
vendors  have  the  sidewalk  stands  so  dear  to  San  Franciscans.  Along 
Sutter  Street  are  offered  rugs  from  India  and  Afghanistan,  books,  art 
objects  from  Europe  and  the  Orient,  household  fixtures  and  antiques. 
Here  San  Franciscans  pay  gas  bills  and  see  dentists,  and  here  are  the 
commercial  art  galleries. 

Kearny  Street  is  the  shopping  district's  eastern  boundary.  At  its 
wide,  windy  intersection  with  Market  Street  the  new  San  Francisco 
meets  the  old.  Glowering  down  upon  Lotta's  Fountain  stands  the  un- 
gainly red-brick  De  Young  Building  (San  Francisco's  first  "sky- 
scraper"), and  facing  it  across  the  intersection  is  the  modernized  tower 
of  the  old  Spreckels  Building.  "Cape  Horn"  the  city's  rounders  dubbed 
this  breezy  crossing,  back  in  the  era  of  free  lunches  and  beer  for  the 
common  run  and  champagne  for  the  elite.  Here  lounged  young  wastrels 
whose  delight  it  was  to  observe  the  skirts  of  passing  damsels  wafted 
knee-high  by  sudden  gusts. 

"All  bluffs  are  called  on  Kearny  Street,"  wrote  Gelett  Burgess. 
Running  north  from  Market  Street  to  the  Barbary  Coast,  it  was  an 
avenue  of  honky-tonks  and  saloons  frequented  by  racetrack  tipsters  and 
other  shady  professionals.  On  election  nights  it  was  the  scene  of  torch- 
light parades  and  brass  bands.  Of  early  theaters,  the  Bush,  the  Stand- 
ard, and  the  California  were  situated  near  Bush  and  Kearny  Streets. 
Among  the  restaurants  that  gave  San  Francisco  a  name  were  the  Maison 
Doree  on  Kearny  between  Bush  and  Sutter  Streets,  the  Maison  Rich, 


178      SAN     FRANCISCO 

a  block  west  at  Grant  Avenue  and  Geary  Streets,  the  Poodle  Dog  at 
Grant  Avenue  and  Bush  Street,  and  Tortoni's,  two  blocks  west  at 
O'Farrell  and  Stockton  Streets.  All  served  French  dinners  that  were 
gastronomical  delights  to  a  city  that  always  has  known  how  to  eat. 
Another  famous  restaurant  was  Marchand's,  at  Grant  Avenue  and  a 
little  two-block  alley  called  Maiden  Lane.  Now  chaste  and  obscure, 
Maiden  Lane  has  been  renamed  a  half-dozen  times,  but  the  original 
name  sticks,  inducing  a  wry  smile  from  old-timers  who  remember  when 
its  "maidens"  were  ladies  of  little  or  no  virtue. 

The  inglorious  past  is  slipping  fast  from  Kearny  Street.  Stream- 
lined clothing  establishments  for  men,  smart  shops,  and  cocktail  bars 
are  marching  northward  against  the  tawdry  remains  of  an  era  of  archi- 
tectural horror  and  moral  obliquity.  Its  awakening  comes  late  but  it 
comes  with  a  vengeance.  A  few  blocks  northward  its  businesses  and 
buildings  decline  in  class  and  size  to  pawnshops,  bailbond  offices,  and 
the  hangouts  of  dapper,  black-haired  Filipinos. 

Not  even  the  most  farseeing  mind  could  have  imagined,  in  San 
Francisco's  toddling  days,  the  narrow  canyon  between  skyscrapers  that 
is  present-day  Montgomery  Street.  Being  then  the  water  front,  it  was 
the  city's  doorstep  to  the  world.  The  doorstep  was  gradually  moved 
eastward  as  filled-in  land  pushed  back  the  Bay  waters,  but  San  Fran- 
cisco went  on  doing  business  in  the  original  location.  Into  Mont- 
gomery— and  later  Kearny  Street,  one  block  west — were  compressed 
most  of  what  the  city  possessed — banks,  customhouse,  post  office,  busi- 
ness houses,  newspaper  offices,  dance  and  gambling  halls,  theaters,  livery 
stables,  saloons,  and  restaurants.  The  streets  were  ungraded.  Kearny 
was  paved  with  sticks  and  stones,  bits  of  tin,  and  old  hatch  coverings 
from  ships  that  had  tramped  the  world.  The  going  was  difficult,  if  not 
downright  dangerous,  for  both  pedestrian  and  rider.  In  1849  the  site 
of  the  Palace  Hotel's  present  magnificence,  across  from  the  southern  end 
of  Montgomery  Street,  was  Happy  Valley — host  to  a  tent  settlement 
of  poor  immigrants.  Market  Street  was  a  dream  in  the  brain  of  young 
Jasper  O'Farrell,  who  was  to  engineer  San  Francisco's  street  design. 

Montgomery  Street  has  thrown  off  its  old  boisterous  and  willful 
ways.  Neat  and  austere  between  sheer  walls  of  stone,  glass,  and  terra 
cotta,  it  is  visible  evidence  of  San  Francisco's  financial  hegemony  over 
the  far  West.  But  the  past  that  dies  hard  in  San  Francisco  still  lingers 
on.  Old-fashioned  and  with  clanging  bell,  the  cable  cars  go  lurching 
through  the  cross  streets  that  intersect  Montgomery,  past  insurance 
companies  and  foreign  consulates.  All  day  the  street's  great  office  struc- 
tures are  beehives,  humming  with  business;  its  sidewalks  are  populated 
with  businessmen  carrying  briefcases,  and  lined  with  parked  shiny  auto- 
mobiles. But  at  dark,  when  the  skyscrapers  are  deserted  but  for  their 
watchmen  and  scrubwomen,  the  deep  canyons  are  black  and  silent,  and 


METROPOLITAN     SCENE       179 

the  clank  of  cables,  pulling  their  freight  uphill  toward  the  lighted  hotels 
and  apartment  houses  atop  Nob  Hill,  echoes  in  the  stillness. 


POINTS  OF  INTEREST 

1 6.  Looming  over  the  Civic  Center  and  uptown  San  Francisco,  the 
soaring  shaft  of  the  28-story  HOTEL  EMPIRE,  NW.  corner  Leaven- 
worth  and  McAllister  Sts.,  embodies  the  spirit  of  a  new  era  rising  from 
the  old,  like  the  Phoenix  of  the  municipal  seal.    Built  through  the  united 
efforts  of  the  city's  Methodist  churches,  it  was  opened  in  the  late  I92o's 
as  the  William  Taylor  Church  and  Hotel,  named  for  the  noted  street 
preacher  of  the  1850*5,  since  it  housed  a  built-in  Methodist  Church. 

17.  Founded  a  decade  after  '49  by  John  Sullivan,  the  HIBERNIA 
SAVINGS  AND  LOAN  SOCIETY  (open  10-3),  NW.  corner  Mc- 
Allister and  Jones  Sts.,  has  survived  eight  decades  of  prosperity  and 
panic  to  become  one  of  San  Francisco's  oldest  banks.     Its  classic,  one- 
story  building   (Albert  Pissis,  architect) — whose  granite  facades  were 
gleaming  white  when  finished  in  1892  but  have  been  weathered  to  a 
dull  gray — survived  even  the  fire  of  1906.     It  is  topped  by  a  gilded 
dome  surmounting  the  Corinthian  colonnade  which  rises  at  the  head 
of  the  curved  granite  steps  of  the  corner  entrance.     Inside,   marble 
pilasters  spring  from  a  floor  inlaid  with  mosaic  to  represent  a  mariner's 
compass  card. 

1 8.  The  bronze  angel  atop  the  NATIVE  SONS  MONUMENT, 
Market,  Turk,  and  Mason  Sts.,  holds  aloft  a  book  inscribed  with  the 
date  of  California's  admission  to  the  Union:  September  9,  1850.    Beside 
the  granite  shaft  a  youthful  miner  shouldering  a  pick,  armed  with  the 
holstered  six-shooter  of  his  day,  waves  an  American  flag.    Gift  of  James 
D.  Phelan,  the  monument  (Douglas  Tilden,  sculptor)  was  unveiled  on 
Admission  Day,  1897. 

19.  The  austere  UNITED   STATES  BRANCH   MINT    (not 
open),   NW.  corner  Fifth  and   Mission   Sts.,   now  houses   temporary 
offices  of  various  departments  of  the  Federal  government.     Its  basement 
walls  of  Rocklin  granite  and  upper  facades  of  mottled  British  Columbia 
bluestone,   its  pyramidal  flight  of  granite  steps  climbing  to   a   portico 
of  Doric  columns  are  blackened  with  grime.     Built  in  1870-73  to  sup- 
plant the  first  branch  mint,  established  in  1854  on  Commercial  Street, 
the  $2,000,000  structure    (A.  B.   Mullett,  architect)    was  itself  sup- 
planted in  1937  by  a  still  newer  mint.     In  1906,  while  flames  gnawed 
at  its  barred  and  iron-shuttered  windows,   mint   employees   aided   by 
soldiers  fought  a  seven-hour  battle  with  a  one-inch  fire  hose  and  saved 
$200,000,000  from  destruction.     One-third  of  the  Nation's  entire  gold 
reserve  was  housed  here  in  1934. 

20.  "Industrial  Gothic"  is  the  three-story  CHRONICLE  BUILD- 


l8o      SAN     FRANCISCO 

ING  (visitors  shown  through  plant  by  appointment},  SW.  corner  Fifth 
and  Mission  Sts.,  with  tall  arched  windows  and  high  corner  clock 
tower.  A  morning  paper  with  a  circulation  of  approximately  110,000, 
the  Chronicle  issues  five  regular  editions  daily,  the  first  appearing  on 
the  streets  at  about  half  past  seven  o'clock  in  the  evening. 

21.  On  the  highest  assessed  piece  of  land  in  the  city  is  San  Fran- 
cisco's largest   department   store,   THE   EMPORIUM    (open    9:45- 
5'>2$))  835  Market  St.     The  massive,  gray  sandstone  facade,  its  three 
arched   entrances  opening  onto   a  quarter-block-long  arcade,   is   orna- 
mented with  columns  in  half-relief  rising  from  the  fourth-story  level  to 
the  balustrade  at  the  roof  edge.     Inside,  an  immense  glass-domed  ro- 
tunda,  no  feet  in  diameter  and   no  feet  high,  ringed  by  a  pillared 
gallery,  rises  through  four  stories  to  the  roof  garden.    Its  present  build- 
ing, replacing  one  built  in  1896  and  destroyed  by  the  1906  fire,  stands 
on  the  site  of  St.  Ignatius  College,  now  the  University  of  San  Fran- 
cisco. 

22.  Traffic  waits  goodnaturedly  at   the   CABLE   CAR  TURN- 
TABLE, Market,  Powell,  and  Eddy  Sts.,  where  a  careening  southbound 
car  comes  to  a  halt  every  few  minutes,  while  conductor  and  grip  man 
dismount  and  push  the  car  around  until  it  faces  north. 

23.  Traces  of  discoloration  in  the  sandstone  near  the  entrances  of 
the  FLOOD  BUILDING,  NE.  corner  Market  and  Powell  Sts.,  recall 
the  earthquake  and  fire  of  1906,  which  broke  windows  and  blackened 
the  walls  of  the  structure  a  year  after  its  completion.     Named   for 
bonanza  king  James  C.  Flood,  the  building  stands  on  the  site  of  the 
Baldwin    Hotel    and    Theater,    built    by    his    contemporary,    E.    J. 
("Lucky")    Baldwin  in   1876-77  and  destroyed  by  fire  in   1898.     Of 
gray  sandstone,  the  12-story  structure  is  wedge-shaped  to  fit  the  site, 
its  two  facades  converging  in  a  rounded  corner  ornamented  with  col- 
umns in  half-relief. 

24.  Head  office  of  the  Nation's  fourth  largest  bank  is  the  BANK 
OF  AMERICA    (open   Mon.-Fri.    10-3,   Sat.    10-12),    NW.   corner 
Market  and  Powell  Sts.,  whose  resources  topped  $1,500,000,000  at  the 
end  of  1939.     "Statewide  organization,  Worldwide  scope"  is  the  motto 
carved  beneath  Giovanni  Portanova's  bas-relief,  personifying  the  bank 
as  a  female  figure  enthroned  between  a  Mercury   (commerce)    and  a 
Ceres  (agriculture),  above  the  corner  entrance.    The  seven-story  struc- 
ture, faced  with  white  granite  and  decorated  with  Corinthian  pilasters, 
was  erected  in  1920. 

25.  A  grassy  haven  in  the  midst  of  the  downtown  bustle,  UNION 
SQUARE,  Powell,  Geary,  Post,  and  Stockton  Sts.,  spreads  2.6  acres 
of  green  lawns  around  the  97-foot-high  granite  shaft  of  the  NAVAL 
MONUMENT  (Robert  Ingersoll  Aitken,  sculptor),  whose  bronze  female 
Victory,  armed  with  wreath  and  trident,  commemorates  "the  Victory 


DOWNTOWN  SAN  FRANCISCO 


1 82      SAN     FRANCISCO 

of  the  American  Navy  under  Commodore  George  Dewey  at  Manila 
Bay,  May  First,  MDCCCXCVIII."  President  William  McKinley  broke 
ground  for  the  monument  in  1901  and  President  Theodore  Roosevelt 
dedicated  it  in  1903.  Union  Square  was  presented  to  the  city  in  1850 
by  Mayor  John  White  Geary.  Mass  meetings  held  here  on  the  eve  of 
the  Civil  War  by  Northerners  demonstrating  their  loyalty  to  the  Union 
gave  the  square  its  name. 

26.  The  ST.  FRANCIS  HOTEL,  Powell,  Geary,  and  Post  Sts., 
is   the    14-story,   block-long,   steel-and-concrete   successor   to   the   hotel 
opened  here  in   1904  and  razed  in   1906.     The  building   (Bliss  and 
Faville,  architects),  is  an  adaption  of  the  Italian  Renaissance  style  to 
the  modern  skyscraper.     Its  main  facade,  weathered  a  somber   gray, 
has  three  wings,  the  central  one  flanked  above  the  second  story  by  deep 
open  courts  separating  it  from  the  others.     The  spacious  lobby  with 
vaulted  ceiling  and  Corinthian  columns  is  one  of  the  city's  most  popular 
meeting  places.     Near  the  entrance  to  the  Mural  Room,   under  the 
great  Austrian  clock  which  controls  50  smaller  clocks  throughout  the 
building,  under-graduates  from  Stanford  and  the  University  of  Cali- 
fornia— who  sometimes  refer  to  the  hotel  as  "The  Frantic" — have  kept 
appointments   for   three   decades.      In   the   Mural   Room    (named   for 
Albert  Herter's  seven  murals,  The  Gifts  of  the  Old  World  to  the  New} , 
whose  black  columns,  mirrored  walls,  and  blue  and  gold  ceiling  provide 
a  pleasant  setting,  socialites  have  met  for  two  decades  to  dine,  dance, 
and  attend   Monday  luncheons  and   fashion   reviews.     Occupying  an 
entire  wall  of  the  largest  of  the  hotel's  banquet  and  meeting  rooms,  the 
Colonial  Ballroom,  is  Albert  Herter's  mural  portraying  American  Colo- 
nial life. 

On  the  second  floor  are  the  headquarters  and  library  of  the  COM- 
MONWEALTH CLUB  (open  to  members  and  certified  students  Mon.-Fri. 
9-5,  Sat.  8:30-12),  founded  in  1903  by  Edward  F.  Adams  of  the 
Chronicle.  The  club's  motto  is  "Get  the  Facts" — and  it  maintains  a 
permanent  fund  of  $270,000  for  research  in  subjects  of  public  interest. 
More  than  1,500  distinguished  visitors  have  addressed  the  club  during 
its  career. 

27.  The  modern  1 7-story  white-brick  and  stone  CLIFT  HOTEL, 
495  Geary  St.,  was  opened  in  1915  by  attorney  Frederick  Clift.    Three 
new  stories  and  an  additional  wing  were  added  in  1926.     Lobbies  and 
public  rooms  are  combined  Spanish  and  Italian  Renaissance  with  high 
beamed  ceilings.     The  Redwood  Room  is  panelled  with  highly  bur- 
nished 2,ooo-year-old  California  redwood  and  its  3O-foot  bar  is  made 
entirely  of  redwood  burl. 

28.  "Weaving  spiders   come   not   here"   admonishes   an   inscription 
over  the  Taylor  Street  entrance  of  the  five-story  red  brick  Italian  Renais- 
sance home  of 'the  BOHEMIAN  CLUB   (private),  NE.  corner  Post 


METROPOLITAN     SCENE       183 

and  Taylor  Sts.,  erected  in  1934.  Across  J.  J.  Mora's  bronze  bas-relief 
on  the  Post  Street  facade  troop  a  procession  of  Bret  Harte's  characters. 
The  club  grew  in  1872  from  informal  Sunday  breakfasts  at  the  home 
of  James  Bowman,  editorial  writer  on  the  Chronicle.  Artist  friends 
sketched  so  freely  on  Mrs.  Bowman's  tablecloths  her  husband  decided 
that  San  Francisco  intellectuals  needed  an  official  club. 

For  the  first  few  years,  quarters  were  shared  with  another  club, 
The  Jolly  Corks.  The  atmosphere  was  casual,  the  furnishings  meager. 
Members  who  complained  of  the  lack  of  tables  and  chairs  were  reminded 
that  "when  a  man  gets  tired  of  holding  his  drink  all  he  has  to  do  is  to 
swallow  it."  The  club's  monthly  "High  Jinks" — their  name  derived 
supposedly  from  Sir  Walter  Scott's  Guy  Mannering — were  debates 
followed  by  suppers.  The  more  or  less  serious  "High  Jinks"  (later 
burlesqued  by  "Low  Jinks")  were  sometimes  exciting  occasions.  The 
story  persists  that  one  speaker  opened  his  manuscript  to  show  a  wicked- 
looking  revolver,  which  he  placed  on  the  table  in  front  of  him,  saying: 
"This  is  to  shoot  the  first  Bohemian  galoot  who  stirs  from  his  seat 
before  I  end  this  paper."  In  1877  the  Bohemians  moved  into  quarters 
of  their  own  on  Pine  Street.  Among  the  honorary  members  elected  to 
the  club  have  been  Mark  Twain,  Bret  Harte,  and  Oliver  Wendell 
Holmes. 

The  Bohemian  Club  now  has  a  world-wide  membership  of  about 
2,000  and  a  waiting  list  of  hundreds.  Once  a  year  they  come  together 
for  a  midsummer  frolic  in  the  club's  Bohemian  Grove,  where  an  origi- 
nal play  has  been  produced  since  1880,  when  the  first  Midsummer  Jinks 
— an  open-air  picnic  accompanied  by  speeches  and  celebrations — was 
held. 

29.  The  winged  "O"  of  the  OLYMPIC  CLUB    (private),  524 
Post  St.,  oldest  amateur  athletic  organization  in  the  United  States,  has 
been  worn  by  many  star  athletes,  including  "Gentleman  Jim"  Corbett, 
the  San  Francisco  bank  clerk  who  became  world's  heavyweight  cham- 
pion after  practice  as  the  club's  boxing  instructor,  and  Sid  Cavill,  one 
of  a  famous  family  of  Australian  swimmers,  who  introduced  the  Aus- 
tralian crawl  to  America  as  the  club's  swimming  instructor.     Nucleus 
of  the   Olympic  Club,   formed   May  6,    1860,   was  the   group  which 
Charles  and  Arthur  Nahl  invited  to  use  the  gymnastic  apparatus  they 
had  assembled  in  their  Taylor  Street  backyard.     The  organization  now 
has  5,000  members.     The  five-story  brick  clubhouse  is  equipped  with  a 
gymnasium,  a  solarium,  squash  and  handball  courts,  an  indoor  track, 
a  billiard  room,  a  marble  plunge  piped  with  ocean  water,  dining  halls,  a 
library,  and  a  lounge. 

30.  The     Corinthian  -  pillared     FIRST     CONGREGATIONAL 
METHODIST  TEMPLE,   SE.  corner  Mason  and   Post   Sts.,  was 
founded  in  1849  in  the  schoolhouse  on  the  Plaza,  led  by  a  missionary 


184      SAN     FRANCISCO 

from  Hawaii,  the  Reverend  T.  Dwight  Hunt.  Having  outgrown  the 
frame  structure  built  at  Jackson  and  Virginia  Streets  in  1850,  the  con- 
gregation spent  $57,000  raised  largely  by  pew  rentals  on  a  structure  at 
Dupont  (Grant  Avenue)  and  California  Streets.  In  1872  it  moved 
into  a  tall-spired  red  brick  Gothic  Church  on  the  present  site,  and  in 
1915  into  the  present  building;  here  it  was  joined  in  1937  by  the 
Temple  Methodist  Church,  which  gave  up  its  William  Taylor  Church. 

31.  The  eight-story  red  brick  and  buff  tile  NATIVE  SONS  OF 
THE  GOLDEN  WEST  BUILDING  (open  daily  7  a.m.- 12  p.m.}, 
414-30  Mason   St.,   houses  an  organization   founded  in    1875.     J.  J. 
Mora's  terra  cotta  bas-reliefs  between  the  upper  windows  depict  epochs 
in  pioneer  history.    Above  the  entrance  are  bas-relief  portraits  of  Juni- 
pero  Serra,  John  Charles  Fremont,  and  John  D.  Sloat.     Around  the 
balcony  of  the  auditorium,  which  seats  1,250,  are  intaglios  portraying 
California  writers. 

The  (fourth-floor)  FRENCH  LIBRARY  (open  1-6,  7-9;  fee,  50$ 
monthly),  conducted  by  L'Alliance  Franchise,  the  largest  French  library 
in  the  United  States,  contains  21,000  volumes.  It  was  founded  in  1874 
as  the  Bibliotheque  de  la  Ligue  National  Franchise,  under  the  patronage 
of  Raphael  Weill,  through  the  efforts  of  a  society  of  French  residents 
formed  after  1871  to  protest  appropriation  of  Alsace  and  Lorraine  by 
Germany. 

32.  Against  the  dark  panelling  of  the  JOHN  HOWELL  BOOK 
SHOP  (open  9-5:30),  434  Post  St.,  gleam  the  rich  colors  of  the  rare 
old  volumes  which  line  the  walls.     The  collection  is  especially  rich  in 
early  Californiana  and  Elizabethan  literature.     Beyond  the  main  room, 
a  large  studio  displays  the  West's  largest  collection  of  rare  Bibles.     It 
includes  a  Venetian  Latin  Bible  printed  in  1478;  the  Bible  printed  by 
John  Pruss  at  Strassburg  in  1486,  one  of  four  in  America;  one  of  the 
nine  copies  of  the  first  issue  of  the  Martin  Luther  Bible,  printed  at 
Wittenberg  in  1540-41 ;  the  Great  "She"  Bible  of  1611 ;  and  the  family 
Bible  of  Sir  Walter  Scott,  hand-ruled  in  red.    Also  displayed  is  the  first 
American  edition  of  the  Koran,  printed  in  1806.     On  the  wall  is  a  rare 
parchment  containing  24  panels  painted  by   a   Buddhist  priest   which 
depict  the  story  of  Buddhist  worship. 

33.  NEWBEGIN'S  BOOK  SHOP  (open  8:30-6),  358  Post  St., 
was  founded  in  1889  by  John  J.  Newbegin,  friend  of  Ambrose  Bierce, 
Ina  Coolbrith,  Jack  London,  and  George  Sterling.     Mr.  Newbegin  is 
an  authority  on  rare  books;  his  collection  of  material  dealing  with  ship- 
ping is  said  to  be  the  world's  largest. 

34.  The  vertical  lines  of  the  22-story  SIR   FRANCIS   DRAKE 
HOTEL,    450   Powell    St.,   culminate   in   a   six-story,    set-back   tower 
overlooking  city^and  Bay.     The  structure  (Weeks  and  Day,  architects) 
was  completed  in   1928.     Four  great  panels  by  local  muralist   S.  W. 


METROPOLITAN     SCENE       185 

Bergman,  depicting  the  visit  of  Sir  Francis  Drake  to  the  Marin  shores, 
decorate  the  English  Renaissance  lobby.  Name  bands  play  nightly  in 
the  Persian  Room,  whose  low  illuminated  ceiling  plays  changing  lights 
on  the  Persian  murals  of  A.  B.  Heinsbergen. 

35.  Looming  in  monumental  grandeur  above  the  business  district, 
the  FOUR-FIFTY  SUTTER  BUILDING,  450  Sutter  St.,  rises— a 
massive  shaft  with  rounded  corners,  faced  in  fawn-colored  stone — 25 
stories  above  the  street.     A  striking  adaptation  of  Mayan  motifs  t'o  func- 
tional design,  the  structure  (Timothy  L.  Pflueger,  architect),  completed 
in  1930,  required  more  than  two  years  and  $4,000,000  to  build.     Its 
wide  entrance,  topped  by  a  four-story  grilled  window  in  a  tree-like 
Mayan  design,  is  in  nice  proportion  to  the  facade's  severe  lines.     Large 
windows,  flush  with  the  exterior,  flood  the  offices  with  light — especially 
the  corner  suites,  which  have  six  bay  windows.     The  building  provides 
its  tenants — doctors,  dentists,  pharmacists,  laboratory  technicians,   and 
others  of  allied  professions — with  a  solarium,  a  doctors'  lounge,  and  a 
i,ooo-car  garage. 

36.  December,  1914  saw  completion  of  the  $656,000  STOCKTON 
STREET  TUNNEL  (Michael  O'Shaughnessy,  engineer),  boring  911 
feet  through  Nob  Hill  from  Bush  almost  to  Sacramento  Street  to  con- 
nect downtown  San  Francisco  with  Chinatown  and  North  Beach.    The 
tunnel  is  36  feet  wide  and  19  feet  high;  sodium  vapor  lights  were  in- 
stalled in  1939. 

37-  NOTRE  DAME  DES  VICTOIRES  (Our  Lady  of  Vic- 
tories), 566  Bush  St.,  serves  San  Francisco's  French  colony.  The 
church,  completed  in  1913,  is  of  Byzantine  and  French  Renaissance 
architecture,  constructed  of  brick  with  groined  twin  towers  and  high 
arched  stained-glass  windows. 

38.  Since  23-year-old  Leander  S.  Sherman  in  1870  bought  the  shop 
where   he   had   been   employed   to    repair   music   boxes,    SHERMAN, 
CLAY  AND  COMPANY,  SW.  corner  Kearny  and  Sutter  Sts.,  has 
ministered  to  the  city's  musical  wants.     Since  the   1 870*5,  the  firm — 
known   as   Sherman,    Hyde,    and   Company   until    Major   C.    C.    Clay 
bought  out  F.  A.  Hyde's  original  interest — has  been  selling  music  lovers 
their  supplies  and  tickets  to  concerts  and  recitals. 

39.  let   on   parle  Francais    (French   spoken   here)    was  the   legend 
which    Messrs.    Davidson    and    Lane,    founders    of    THE    WHITE 
HOUSE    (open  9:45-5:25),  Grant  Ave.,  Sutter,  and  Post  Sts.,  hung 
in  the  window  of  their  small  shop  on  the  water  front  when  they  hired 
1 8-year-old  Raphael  Weill  as  a  clerk  in   1854.     When  Richard  Lane 
went  into  gold  mining  in  1858,  young  Weill  took  his  place  as  partner 
of  J.  W.  Davidson  and  Company.     As  San  Francisco  grew  rich,  the 
store  began  to  dazzle  shoppers  with  costly  and  daring  Paris  importations. 
When   Raphael   Weill   asked   one   of   the   newspapers    for   a    full-page 


1 86      SAN     FRANCISCO 

advertisement,  he  was  indignantly  refused.  "What  does  he  think  we're 
running,  a  signboard  or  a  newspaper?"  demanded  the  editor.  "He  gets 
two  columns,  no  more!"  But  Weill  got  his  full-page  advertisement, 
the  first  in  the  history  of  the  retail  business. 

When  the  store  moved  to  its  own  three-story  brick  building  at 
Kearny  and  Post  Streets,  Weill  persuaded  his  partner  to  name  it  after 
the  famous  Maison  Blanche  in  Paris.  By  1900,  when  The  White 
House  was  outfitting  the  women  of  the  city  in  high-button  shoes  and 
ostrich  boas  and  filling  homes  with  sofa  pillows  and  table  throws,  its 
fame  had  spread  up  and  down  the  Coast.  The  1906  fire  reduced  it  to 
a  heap  of  ashes.  Weill  promptly  wired  New  York  for  carloads  of 
merchandise,  which  he  distributed  to  5,000  women.  Having  vowed 
that  he  would  not  shave  until  the  store  reopened,  he  let  his  beard  grow 
for  three  months  while  quarters  on  Van  Ness  Avenue  were  prepared. 
When  the  present  five-story  structure,  faced  with  white  terra  cotta 
(Albert  Pissis,  architect)  opened  March  15,  1909,  jt  was  one  of  the 
first  to  reopen  in  the  old  shopping  section.  Weill  lived  to  see  the  store 
overflow  into  two  adjoining  buildings  before  his  death  in  1920  at  the 
age  of  84. 

Philanthropist,  epicure,  and  patron  of  the  arts,  Weill  left  his  impress 
on  the  organization.  Employees  celebrate  his  birthday  annually  and 
the  store  still  closes  on  the  birthday  of  Abraham  Lincoln,  whom  he 
greatly  admired.  In  the  street-floor  MEMORIAL  OFFICE  (open  business 
hours),  which  Weill  set  aside  as  a  place  to  greet  his  old  friends,  fresh 
flowers  are  still  placed  among  the  honors  heaped  on  Weill:  old  photo- 
graphs, citations,  and  plaques — a  little  museum  of  old  San  Francisco. 

40.  Around  the  show  windows  of  the  florists'  shop  of  PODESTA 
AND  BALDOCCHI  (open  weekdays  8-6,  Sun.  S-n  a.m.),  224  Grant 
Ave.,  passersby  cluster  to  admire  flaunting  sprays  of  rare  orchids,  ex- 
quisite   lilies,    or    rich-textured    camellias,    arranged    with    spectacular 
artistry  among  many  kinds  of  blossoms.     In  the  early  spring,  the  shop 
is  embowered  in  pink  and  white  flowering  branches  of  fruit  trees;  at 
other  seasons,  in  great  masses  of  trailing  greenery. 

41.  One  of  the  Nation's  oldest  jewelry  establishments,  SHREVE 
AND  COMPANY  (open  9-5),  NW.  corner  Grant  Ave.  and  Post  St., 
have  been  dealing  in  precious  stones  and  rare  objects  of  gold  and  silver 
since  1852.     It  is  the  only  large  downtown  store  still  operating  whose 
advertisement  appeared  in  the  San  Francisco  City  Directory  of  1856 — 
when  its  address  was  No.  139  Montgomery  St. 

42.  Book  and  art  lovers  frequent  PAUL  ELDER  AND  COM- 
PANY  (open  9-5:30),  239  Post  St.,  established  in  1898.     Elder  not 
only  sells  current  literature,   rare  editions,   and  used  books  in  a  shop 

whose  Gothic  decorative  motifs  were  suggested  by  Bernard  Maybeck — 


METROPOLITAN     SCENE       187 

designer  of  the  Palace  of  Fine  Arts — but  also  presents  lectures,  dramatic 
readings,  and  book  and  art  exhibits  in  the  second-floor  galleries. 

43.  To  collectors  the  world  over,  the  name  of  S.  G.  GUMP  AND 
COMPANY    (open  9:45-5:25},  250  Post   St.,   means  jade,   but   the 
firm's  agents  have  scoured  the  world  for  more  than  jade.     Show  rooms 
are  styled  to  conform  with  the  rare  objects  they  contain.     Since  Solo- 
mon and  Gustave  Gump  founded  the  firm  in  1865,  it  has  grown  into 
an  institution  whose  buyers  gather  items  for  collectors  throughout  the 
Nation.     In  its  show  rooms  are  displayed  modern  china,  pottery,  glass, 
linens,  silverware,  and  jewelry;  silks,  brocades,   and  velvets;   Siamese 
and  Cambodian  sculpture;  porcelain  and  cloisonne,   rich-textured  tap- 
estries, bronze  temple  bells,  hardwood  screens  ornamented  with  jade, 
and  rugs  from  Chinese  palaces  acquired  after  the  overthrow  of   the 
Manchu  government.     In  the  Jade  Room  all  of  the  eight  colors  and 
45  shades  of  the  stone  are  represented,  including  the  rarest,  that  most 
nearly  resembling  emerald;  pink,  so  rare  that  only  small  pieces  have 
been  found;  and  spinach  green,  a  dark  tone  flecked  with  black,  used  for 
large  decorative  pieces.     The  collection  of  tomb  jade,  recovered  from 
mounds  in  which  mandarins  were  interred,  includes  pieces  2,000  years 
old.     The  Jade  Room  also  contains  figurines  carved  of  ivory,  crystal, 
rose  quartz,  white  and  pink  coral,  rhinoceros  horn,  and  semiprecious 
stones. 

44.  Fluctuat  nee  Mergitur  (It  floats  and  never  sinks),  Paris'  own 
municipal  motto,  has  been  the  slogan  of  the  CITY  OF  PARIS  (open 
9:45-5:25},  SE.  corner  Stockton  and  Geary  Sts.,  since  the  spring  of 
1850,  when  Felix  Verdier  hung  up — over  an  edifice  constructed  largely 
of  packing  cases  the  sign: 

"LA  VILLE  DE  PARIS 
Felix  Verdier,  Proprietor 
Fluctuat  nee  Mergitur" 

The  motto  was  appropriate,  for  the  contents  of  "La  Ville  de  Paris" 
had  been  afloat  ever  since  Verdier  had  left  France  in  a  ship  whose  cargo 
he  bought  with  profits  from  his  silk-stocking  factory  at  Nimes.  (A 
republican,  he  had  preferred  exile  to  the  new  emperor.)  Destroyed  sev- 
eral times  by  fire,  the  store  moved  each  time  to  larger  quarters.  When 
Felix  was  succeeded,  at  his  death  in  the  late  i86o's,  by  his  son  Gaston, 
it  was  moved  into  its  own  building  at  Geary  Street  and  Grant  Avenue. 
It  came  to  its  present  location  in  1896. 

Twenty-four-year-old  Paul  Verdier  had  scarcely  taken  over  in  1906 
when  the  building  was  destroyed.  First  store  in  town  to  reopen,  it 
resumed  business  in  a  mansion  on  Van  Ness  Avenue.  The  present  six- 
story  building — with  its  glass  dome  rising  above  balconies,  its  Louis 


l88      SAN     FRANCISCO 

XVI  window  frames  of  white  enamel  and  carved,  gilded  wood — was 
opened  in  the  spring  of  1909.  At  the  peak  of  the  dome  appear  the 
original  crest  of  Paris,  a  ship  in  full  sail,  and  the  motto.  Author  of 
A  History  of  Wine,  Paul  Verdier  personally  selects  the  more  than 
1,000  choice  vintages  which  stock  the  cellars. 

45.  When   the   NATHAN-DOHRMANN    COMPANY    (open 
9:45-5:2$),  SW.  corner  Stockton  and  Geary  Sts.,  opened  in  1850  (as 
Blumenthal  and  Hirsch),  it  sold  mining  equipment.     By  1886,  when 
Bernard  Nathan,  manager  since  the  founder's  death,  took  as  his  partner 
Frederick  W.  Dohrmann,  the  firm  was  stocking  oil  lamps,  basins,  ewers, 
and  shaving  mugs.    Still  managed  by  descendants  of  Nathan  and  Dohr- 
mann, it  now  sells  wares  and  utensils  of  all  descriptions. 

46.  In   a   studio  penthouse   the   COURVOISIER   GALLERIES 
(open  9-5:30),  133  Geary  St.,  present  shows  of  contemporary  American 
and  foreign  art.    Founded  as  an  art  shop  in  1902  by  Ephraim  B.  Cour- 
voisier,  the  business  was  burned  out  in  1906.     Courvoisier  recouped  his 
losses  by  restoring  the   fire-damaged  paintings   of  wealthy   collectors. 
The  friend  of  such  artists  as  Charles  Rollo  Peters,  Thomas  Hill,  and 
William  Keith,  he  developed  a  large  clientele  which  followed  him  even 
when  reverses  forced  him  for  a  while  to  a  Kearny  Street  alley.     The 
firm  was  taken  over  by  his  son  in  1927.     After  its  exhibition  in  1938 
of  the  original  water  colors  on  celluloid  for  Walt  Disney's  Snow  White 
and  the  Seven  Dwarfs,  it  acquired  the  exclusive  agency  for  sale  of  the 
originals  from  Disney's  future  productions. 

47.  Behind  a  shining  all-glass  three-story  facade,  the  ANGELO  J. 
ROSSI    COMPANY    (open   weekdays   8-6:30,  Sun.   8-12   a.m.),   45 
Grant  Ave.,  streamlined  florist's  establishment  owned  by  the  Mayor  of 
San  Francisco,  displays  masses  of  fragrant  bloom  against  mirrored  walls. 

48.  A  neo-Gothic  eight-story  building  houses  O'CONNOR,  MOF- 
FATT  AND  COMPANY  (open  9:45-5:25),  NW.  corner  O'Farrell 
and  Stockton  Sts.,  founded  in  1866  by  Bryan  O'Connor,  newly  arrived 
from  Australia.     O'Connor  was  so  impressed  with  the  city's  prosperity 
that  he  sent  to  Melbourne  for  his  friend,  George  Moffatt.     Since  the 
death  of  O'Connor  and  retirement  of  Moffatt  in  1887,  tne  business  has 
been  carried  on  by  descendants  of  the  first  employees.     The  original 
dry-goods  store  moved  in  1929  to  its  present  building  and  expanded, 
becoming  a  department  store. 

49.  Young  Adolphe  Roos,  who  founded  the  clothing  firm  of  ROOS 
BROTHERS    (open   9:45-5:25),   NE.  corner   Stockton   and   Market 
Sts.,  arrived  in  San  Francisco  from  France  in  time  for  the  stampede  to 
the  Virginia  City   (Nevada)    mines,  where  he  made  his  stake  by  out- 
fitting miners.     Returning  to  San  Francisco,  he  sent  for  his  younger 
brother,  Achille;  together  they  opened  the  first  Roos  Brothers  store  on 
Leidesdorff  Street  in  1865.     Since  1908  the  firm,  now  guided  by  the 


METROPOLITAN     SCENE       1 89 

founder's  son,  Robert  Roos,  has  occupied  its  present  five-story  building. 
Remodeled  (1936-38)  at  a  cost  of  $1,000,000  (J.  S.  Fairweather, 
building  architect;  Albert  R.  Williams,  interior  architect),  it  was  trans- 
formed into  a  series  of  individually  designed  shops,  its  street  entrances 
equipped  with  doors  automatically  opened  by  electric  beams  and  its 
interiors  with  fluorescent  illumination  simulating  daylight.  The  vari- 
ous shops  are  panelled  with  rare  woods — hairwood  from  the  British 
Isles,  Yuba  wood  from  Australia,  Jenisero  from  Central  America;  in 
one  shop  is  a  mosaic  in  which  more  than  48  varieties  are  used. 

50.  Largest  daily  circulation  in  the  city  is  boasted  by  the  paper 
published  in  the  SAN  FRANCISCO  NEWS  BUILDING  (visitors 
shown  through  plant  by  appointment),  812  Mission  St.,  whose  twelve 
presses  grind  out  eight  regular  editions  daily.     The  first  edition  is  re- 
leased at  1 1  a.m.,  the  last  at  5  .-30  p.m.     The  paper  is  one  of  the  Scripps- 
Howard  chain. 

51.  The  i8-story  gray-green  HUMBOLDT  BANK  BUILDING, 
785  Market  St.,  capped  by  a  fantastically  adorned  dome,  was  built  in 
1907  (Meyer  and  O'Brien,  architects).     Under  construction  when  the 
earthquake  and  fire  destroyed  it,  it  was  completely  rebuilt — the  first 
architectural   contract  placed   after   the   disaster.      Bronze   doors   lead 
into  the  banking  room  of  the  Bank  of  America   (open  Mon.-Fri.  10- 
3:30,  Sat.    10-12),   ornate  with  white   Ionic  columns,   warm    Sienna 
marbles,  and  buff  mosaic  floor. 

52.  The    domed,    granite    AMERICAN    TRUST    COMPANY 
BUILDING    (Savings    Union    Office;    open    10-3   Mon.-Fri.,    10-12 
Sat.),  NW.  corner  Market  St.,  Grant  Ave.,  and  O'Farrell  St.,  was 
erected   in    1910.     The   pediment   above   the   Ionic-pillared   portico   is 
adorned  with  Haig  Patigian's  bas-reliefs  of  the  head  of  Liberty  between 
flying  eagles    (based  on  Augustus  St.   Gauden's  design  for  $20  gold 
pieces).     Corinthian  columns,  Travernelle  marble  pilasters,  and  Caen 
stone  walls  lend  richness  to  the  65-foot-high  banking  room.    The  Ameri- 
can Trust  Company  was  formed  through  successive  mergers  of  older 
institutions,  one  of  which,  the  Savings  Union  Bank  and  Trust  Com- 
pany, was  the  city's  oldest  surviving  savings  bank,  dating  back  to  foun- 
dation of  the  San  Francisco  Accumulating  Fund  Association  in  1854. 

53-  The  ageing  six-story  buff-brick  BANCROFT  BUILDING, 
731  Market  St.,  is  named  for  the  Bancroft  brothers — historian  Hubert 
Howe  and  publisher  Albert  L. — who  conducted  in  its  five-story  prede- 
cessor (second  brick  building  erected  on  Market  Street)  a  book-selling 
and  publishing  firm.  In  partnership  with  George  L.  Kenny,  Hubert 
Howe  Bancroft  previously  had  gone  into  the  book-selling  business  in 
quarters  on  Montgomery  Street.  Joining  the  firm,  his  brother  Albert 
planned  the  new  Market  Street  office  building,  opened  in  1870.  In 
1875  the  firm  announced:  "Bancroft's  Historical  Library  is  the  basis 


I9O      SAN     FRANCISCO 

of  important  scientific  and  descriptive  works  of  a  local  nature,  and 
maps  or  books  of  reference  relating  to  the  Pacific  Coast."  In  the  same 
year  appeared  the  first  of  Hubert  Howe  Bancroft's  histories,  Volume  I 
of  his  Native  Races  of  the  Pacific  Coast  of  North  America.  In  the 
fifth-floor  publishing  department,  Bancroft  went  ahead  with  his  pro- 
digious labors  of  compiling  in  detail  the  history  of  all  Western  America. 
One  of  the  pioneers  of  mass  production  methods  in  literature,  he  directed 
a  large  staff  of  anonymous  collaborators.  In  1884  he  published  the  first 
of  his  seven  volumes  on  the  history  of  California — carrying  a  list  of 
quoted  authorities  66  pages  long.  Before  his  death  in  1918,  he  had 
accumulated  a  library  of  500  or  more  rare  manuscripts  and  60,000 
volumes,  now  housed  in  the  Bancroft  Library  at  the  University  of 
California. 

54.  The  22-story  steel-and-concrete  CENTRAL  TOWER,   SW. 
corner    Market    and   Third    Sts.,    defies    detection    as    the    old    Claus 
Spreckels  Building.     It  was  remodeled  along  functional  lines  in  1938. 
The  simply  decorated  entrance  relieves  the  severity  of  the  unornamented 
vertical  shaft  with  its  six-story  tower.     In  the  lobby,   the  walls  are 
vitriolite  brick.     In  1895  Claus  Spreckels  bought  the  site  and  erected 
a  ig-story  building  in  which  the  Call  was  published  for  a  time.     Dur- 
ing the  Spanish-American  War,  a  cannon  thundered  news  of  American 
victories  from  the  roof.    Only  bright  spot  in  a  darkened  and  devastated 
area,  during  the  days  after  April  18,  1906,  was  the  light  kept  burning 
in  the  partly  destroyed  cupola.     In  its  report  the  Geological  Survey 
said  "the  general  behavior  of  this  structure  demonstrates  that  high  build- 
ings subject  to  earthquake  can  be  erected  with  safety  even  on  sand 
foundations." 

55.  The  12-story  HEARST  BUILDING   (visitors  conducted  on 
two-hour  tour  J-Q  p.m.),  SE.  corner  Market  and  Third  Sts.,  of  white 
terra  cotta  with  polychrome  ornamentation,  houses  the  San  Francisco 
Examiner,  first  paper  in  the  Hearst  chain.    The  first  of  its  five  regular 
daily  editions  appears  on  the  streets  about  seven  o'clock  in  the  evening. 
On  this  site  was  the  Nucleus  Hotel,  first  brick  building  on  Market 
Street,  which  surprised  everyone — contrary  to  the  woeful  predictions 
of  skeptics — by  surviving  the  earthquake  of  1868  almost  unscathed. 

56.  Beloved   to   old-timers   is   LOTTA'S    FOUNTAIN,    corner 
Market,  Geary,  and  Kearny  Sts.,  the  cast-iron  shaft  presented  to  the  city 
in   1875  by  little  laughing,  black-eyed  Lotta  Crabtree,  who  won  the 
adoration  of  San  Francisco  in  the  era  of  gallantry  and  easy  money  that 
followed  the  age  of  gold.    The  24-foot  fountain  within  its  granite  base, 
conventional  lion  heads,  and  brass  medallions  depicting  California  scenes 
is  commonplace,  but  its  donor  was  one  of  the  sensational  personages  of 
the  last  century. 

In   1853  when   Lola  Montez  visited  Rabbit  Creek,  a  small  gold 


METROPOLITAN     SCENE       19! 

camp  near  Grass  Valley,  she  taught  singing  and  dancing  to  the  eight- 
year-old  daughter  of  one  of  the  prospectors.  Not  long  afterward  her 
pupil  made  a  sensational  first  appearance  in  a  Sierra  mining  town:  gold 
as  well  as  applause  was  showered  upon  the  young  Lotta  by  generous 
Argonauts.  Her  subsequent  debut  in  San  Francisco  was  no  less  encour- 
aging. At  the  age  of  17  she  appeared  on  the  New  York  stage,  and  at 
44  she  retired.  Fortunate  real  estate  investments  augmented  her  for- 
tune, which  at  her  death  (1924)  exceeded  $4,000,000.  After  her 
retirement  her  fountain  was  neglected,  and  its  site,  a  busy  downtown 
intersection,  became  known  as  Newspaper  Square  from  the  large  number 
of  newsboys  who  congregated  there.  In  1910,  however,  another — and 
perhaps  a  greater — singer  brought  Lotta's  Fountain  once  more  into 
prominence.  At  midnight  on  Christmas  Eve,  hushed  thousands  massed 
as  Louisa  Tetrazzini  sang  "The  Last  Rose  of  Summer"  beside  the 
fountain.  In  remembrance  of  the  event,  a  bas-relief  portrait  of  the 
singer  by  Haig  Patigian  was  added  to  the  monument. 

57.  When  the  De  Young  brothers,  proprietors  of  the  San  Francisco 
Chronicle,   decided   in    1890   to   put   up   the   ten-story    red    brick   DE 
YOUNG  BUILDING,  NE.  corner  Market,  Geary,  and  Kearny  Sts., 
they  were  considered  optimistic.     On  a  site  then  rather  far  west  of  the 
business  district,   they  proposed  to  erect  a  steel-frame  structure — the 
first  in  San  Francisco.     Chicago  architects  Burnham  and  Root  designed 
an  edifice  whose  simple   lines   reveal   the   Romanesque   style   of   their 
teacher,    Henry   Hobson   Richardson.     Wiseacres  were  convinced   the 
structure  would  not  survive  an  earthquake — but  the  disaster  of   1906 
proved  them  to  be  wrong.    A  1 7-story  annex  just  completed  at  the  time 
was  repaired  and  the  interior  of  the  original  structure  rebuilt.     Here, 
until  1924,  was  the  home  of  the  Chronicle. 

58.  One  of  the   dozen  sidewalk  booths  shaded  by  gay  umbrellas 
which  enliven  the  streets  of  the  shopping  district  is  the  FLOWER 
STAND,  Market,  Geary,  and  Kearny  Sts.,  standing  on  the  location 
where  the  first  flower  vendors  stood  in  the  i88o's.    When  the  De  Young 
Building  was  erected,  Michael  de  Young  allowed  the  vendors — most 
of  whom  were  boys  of  Italian,  Belgian,  Irish,  or  Armenian  descent — 
to  sell  their  flowers  in  front  of  the  building,  protecting  them  from  the 
policemen.     The  curbside  stands  were  first  licensed  in   1904.     All  at- 
tempts to  suppress  them  have  been  halted  by  storms  of  protest  from 
press  and  public.    Their  wares  change  with  the  seasons — from  January, 
when   the   first   frilled   golden-yellow   daffodils   and   great   armfuls   of 
feathery  acacia  with  its  fluffy  tassels  make  their  appearance,  to  Decem- 
ber, when  hosts  of  flaming  crimson  poinsettias  and  great  bunches  of 
scarlet  toyon  berries  herald  the  advent  of  the  holidays. 

59.  The  original   PALACE   HOTEL,   Market  and   New  Mont- 
gomery Sts.,  was   (according  to  Oscar  Lewis  and  Carroll  Hall)    "at 


192      SAN     FRANCISCO 

least  four  times  too  large  for  its  period  and  place,  but  the  town  had 
never  had  a  sense  of  proportion  and  no  one  was  disturbed."  Least 
disturbed  was  its  builder,  William  C.  Ralston.  This  "world's  grandest 
hotel"  would  cover  two  and  one-half  acres ;  it  would  soar  to  the  impres- 
sive height  of  seven  stories  and  contain  800  rooms;  its  marble-paved, 
glass-roofed  Grand  Court  (about  which  the  rectangular  structure  was 
designed)  would  face  Montgomery  Street  through  an  arched  driveway; 
artesian  wells  drilled  on  the  spot  would  supply  its  storage  reservoirs 
with  760,000  gallons  of  water;  its  rooms  would  contain  "noiseless" 
water  closets  and  gadgets  designed  to  make  life  at  the  Palace  effortless 
and  luxurious. 

But  three  years'  advance  publicity  satiated  even  a  town  reared  on 
superlatives,  and  before  the  hotel  opened  San  Franciscans  had  chuckled 
at  the  announcement  of  local  columnist  "Derrick  Dodd" :  "The  statis- 
tician of  the  News  Letter  estimates  the  ground  covered  ...  to  be  eleven 
hundred  and  fifty-four  square  miles,  six  yards,  two  inches  ...  A  con- 
tract is  already  given  out  for  the  construction  of  a  flume  from  the 
Yosemite  to  conduct  the  Bridal  Veil  fall  thither,  and  which  it  is  de- 
signed to  have  pour  over  the  east  front.  .  .  .  The  beds  are  made  with 
Swiss  watch  springs  and  stuffed  with  camel's  hair,  each  single  hair 
costing  eleven  cents.  .  .  .  There  are  thirty-four  elevators  in  all — four 
for  passengers,  ten  for  baggage  and  twenty  for  mixed  drinks.  Each 
elevator  contains  a  piano  and  a  bowling  alley  .  .  ."  Of  the  dining  room 
the  News  Letter  predicted:  "All  the  entrees  will  be  sprinkled  with 
gold  dust  .  .  ." 

For  once,  San  Francisco  was  to  be  treated  to  reality  that  exceeded 
even  the  exaggerations  of  its  humorists.  Ralston,  desirous  of  develop- 
ing local  industries,  financed  many  factories  to  supply  the  hotel's  needs 
until  his  cautious  associate,  Senator  William  Sharon,  finally  asked:  "If 
you  are  going  a  buy  a  foundry  for  a  nail,  a  ranch  for  a  plank,  and  a 
manufactory  to  build  furniture,  where  is  this  going  to  end?"  Ralston 
continued  to  pour  millions  into  the  structure — and  died  before  its  com- 
pletion, owing  the  Bank  of  California  $4,000,000.  Sharon,  who  had 
wondered  "where  it  was  going  to  end,"  found  himself  in  possession  of 
the  hotel. 

Through  the  doors  of  the  Palace,  opened  in  October  1875,  passed 
"the  great,  the  near-great,  and  the  merely  flamboyant  .  .  .  bonanza 
kings  and  royalty  alike  .  .  .  Grant,  Sheridan,  and  Sherman  were  feasted 
in  the  banquet  halls;  and  the  Friday  night  Cotillion  Club  danced  .  .  . 
in  the  ballroom  .  .  ."  Here  the  graceful  manners  of  Oscar  Wilde 
charmed  a  local  "lady  reporter,"  and  James  J.  Jeffries  gave  a  champagne 
party  for  a  sweater-clad  coterie.  Here  royalty  was  impressed  (said 
Brazil's  emperor,  Dom  Pedro  II,  in  1876:  "Nothing  makes  me  ashamed 


METROPOLITAN     SCENE       193 

of  Brazil  so  much  as  the  Palace  Hotel.")  and  royalty  died  (King  David 
Kalahaua  of  Hawaii,  January  20,  1891). 

For  more  than  a  quarter  of  a  century  the  Palace  played  host  to  the 
world.  As  its  marble  halls  became  less  fabulous  its  reputation  grew 
more  so.  Tales  related  of  its  "great  and  near-great"  were  echoed  in  a 
hundred  cities.  Climax  to  them  all  were  the  stories  told  of  the  early 
morning  of  April  18,  1906  when  the  hotel's  scores  of  guests  were  shaken 
violently  from  slumber  and  sent  wide-eyed  into  debris-strewn  streets. 
Among  the  most  alarmed  was  Enrico  Caruso;  the  great  tenor  joined 
fellow  members  of  the  Metropolitan  Opera  Company  carrying  a  portrait 
of  Theodore  Roosevelt  and  wearing  a  towel  about  his  famous  throat. 
Although  it  suffered  only  minor  interior  damage  by  the  'quake,  the 
Palace  succumbed,  its  elaborate  fire-fighting  system  useless  against  the 
raging  inferno. 

Rebuilt  in  1909  on  the  same  site,  the  present  eight-story  tan-brick 
and  terra  cotta  structure  is  in  the  Beaux  Art  tradition.  There  are  low 
grills  at  the  windows  and  several  ornate  iron  balconies.  The  eighth 
floor  is  surmounted  by  an  elaborate  frieze.  Reminders  of  the  past  are 
a  porte  cochere  on  the  site  of  the  carriage  entrance  to  the  Grand  Court, 
facing  (across  the  lobby)  the  present  glass-roofed  Palm  Court;  the 
Comstock  Room,  a  duplicate  of  the  room  wherein  the  "Nevada  Four" 
opened  their  poker  sessions  with  a  "take-out"  of  $75,000  in  ivory  chips; 
the  Happy  Valley  cocktail  lounge  with  its  Sotomayor  murals  of  Lotta 
Crabtree  and  "Emperor"  Norton;  and  the  Pied  Piper  Buffet  (for  men) 
with  its  mahogany  fixtures  and  Maxfield  Parrish  painting  (modeled  by 
Maude  Adams).  No  less  illustrious  than  the  guests  of  the  old  Palace 
have  been  the  patrons  of  the  new.  In  1923  the  hotel  was  the  saddened 
host  to  Warren  G.  Harding,  who  died  in  the  presidential  suite. 

A  corridor  leads  from  the  Palace  lobby  to  the  studios  of  KSFO 
(entrance  at  140  Jessie  St.),  constructed  in  1938  at  a  cost  of  $400,000. 
The  interior  is  effectively  decorated  in  soft  blues  and  grays  highlighted 
by  chromium  trim.  A  circular  staircase  leads  to  the  second-floor  recep- 
tion lounge,  executive  offices,  master  control  room,  and  broadcasting 
studios.  The  third  floor  is  devoted  to  the  engineering,  script,  music, 
art  and  advertising  departments. 

To  prevent  vibration,  each  studio  is  suspended  on  springs,  with 
walls  and  ceilings  constructed  so  as  to  form  no  parallel  lines,  thus 
eliminating  echoes.  A  layer  of  spun  glass  fibre  underlying  perforated 
walls  soundproofs  each  studio. 

60.  San  Francisco's  oldest  surviving  newspaper,  the  Call-Bulletin, 
is  published  at  the  CALL  BUILDING  (visitors  shown  through  plant 
by  appointment),  74  New  Montgomery  St.,  its  presses  turning  out  four 
daily  editions  (the  first  appears  about  10.45  a.m.)  with  an  average  cir- 
culation of  110,000. 


1 94      SAN     FRANCISCO 

61.  The  gray  stone  walls,  sometimes  floodlighted  in  gleaming  yellow 
splendor  by  night,  of  the  monolithic  PACIFIC  TELEPHONE  AND 
TELEGRAPH  BUILDING,  140  New  Montgomery  St.,  enclose  the 
head  offices  of  a  telephone  network  embracing  all  the  far  West.   Largest 
building  on  the  Pacific  Coast  devoted  to  one  firm's  exclusive  use  at  the 
time  of  its  completion  in   1925,  it  was  built  at  a  cost  of  $3,000,000 
(J.  R.  Miller,  T.  L.  Pflueger,  and  A.  A.  Cantin,  architects).     From 
each  of  the  four  facades  of  its  four-story  tower,  two  huge  stone  eagles 
survey  the  city  from  their  26-story  perches.     The  terra  cotta  facade, 
with  its  lofty  piers  and  mullions  tapering  upward  in   Gothic   effect, 
cloaks  but  does  not  hide  the  structural  lines.     The  building's  210,000 
square  feet  of  floor  space  provide  working  room  for  2,000  employees. 

62.  A  monument  to  San  Francisco's  early-day  regard  for  learning 
is   the    nine-story   MECHANICS    INSTITUTE    BUILDING,    57 
Post  St.,  erected  in  1910  (Albert  Pissis,  architect),  which  houses  the 
Mechanics-Mercantile   Library    (open   weekdays  9  a.m.-io  p.m.,  Sun. 
1-5).     On  December  n,  1854,  a  group  of  citizens  met  in  the  tax  col- 
lector's office  to  found  a  Mechanics'  Institute  for  the  advancement  of 
the  mechanic  arts  and  sciences;  and  on  March  6,   1855,  they  adopted 
a  constitution  providing  for  "the  establishment  of  a  library,   reading 
room,  the  collection  of  a  cabinet,  scientific  apparatus,  works  of  art,  and 
for  other  literary  and  scientific  purposes."    With  four  books  presented 
by  one  S.  Bugbee — The  Bible,  the  Constitution  of  the  United  States, 
an  Encyclopaedia  of  Architecture,  and   Curtis  on   Conveyancing — the 
library  began  its  activities  in  June,  1855. 

Progress  of  the  association  began  with  the  inauguration  of  annual 
Mechanics'  and  Manufacturers'  Fairs,  September  7,  1857,  m  a  pavilion 
on  Montgomery  Street  between  Post  and  Sutter  Streets.  As  the  fairs 
became  civic  events  of  prime  importance,  one  sprawling  wooden  pavilion 
after  another  was  built  to  house  them — six  in  all,  of  which  the  third 
and  fourth  occupied  Union  Square;  the  fifth,  Eighth  Street  between 
Mission  and  Market  Streets;  and  the  sixth,  the  site  of  the  Civic  Audi- 
torium. The  last  of  the  fairs  was  held  in  1899. 

In  1866  the  Institute  built  its  first  structure  on  the  present  site. 
By  1872  it  had  collected  a  library  of  17,239  volumes.  In  January, 
1906  it  merged  with  the  Mercantile  Library  Association,  organized  in 
1852  by  a  group  of  merchants.  The  merger  of  the  two  associations, 
whose  combined  library  numbered  200,000  volumes,  had  scarcely  been 
affected,  however,  when  the  fire  of  1906  destroyed  books,  equipment, 
and  building.  Hard  hit,  the  Institute  nevertheless  had  acquired  a  new 
library  of  40,000  volumes  by  1912,  when  it  realized  from  the  sale  of 
its  pavilion  lot  to  the  city  the  sum  of  $700,000.  Its  present  (1940) 
collection  of  195,000  volumes  is  especially  notable  in  the  fields  of  science 


METROPOLITAN     SCENE       IQ5 

and  technology.     The  Mechanics'  Institute  also  provides  for  its  mem- 
bers a  chess  and  checker  room  and  a  lecture  series. 

63.  The    is-story    CROCKER    FIRST    NATIONAL    BANK, 
NW.  corner  Post  and  Montgomery  Sts.,  stands  on  the  site  of  the  old 
Masonic  Temple.     Oldest  national  bank  in  California,  it  is  a  merger 
of  the  First  National  Bank,  opened  in  1871  with  James  D.  Phelan  as 
president,  and  the  Crocker  National  Bank,  organized  in  1883  by  Charles 
Crocker  (one  of  the  "Big  Four").     The  two  banks  were  consolidated 
in  1926.     Of  Italian  Renaissance  style,  its  entrance  is  distinguished  by 
a  rotunda  supported  on  granite  pillars    (Willis  Polk  and   Company, 
architects). 

64.  Prosaic  monument  to  a  story-book  past  is  the  12-story  granite 
NEVADA  BANK  BUILDING,  NE.  corner  Montgomery  and  Mar- 
ket Sts.,  housing  the  Wells  Fargo  Bank  and  Union  Trust  Company. 
A  lively  chapter  in  the  history  of  the  West  is  the  story  of  its  parent 
institution,  Wells  Fargo  and  Company.    A  year  before  its  incorporation 
in  New  York  the  express  firm  was  buying  and  selling  "dust,"  receiving 
deposits,  and  selling  exchange.     One  of  the  few  institutions  to  survive 
the  "Black  Friday"  of  February  1855,  it  operated  its  banking  business 
until  1878  in  conjunction  with  its  express  activities.    In  1905  the  Wells 
Fargo  Bank  was  consolidated  with  the  Nevada  Bank  and  in  1924,  with 
the  Union  Trust  Company.     The  present  building,  built  in  1894,  was 
raised  to  a  height  of  ten  stories  in   1903  and  to  twelve  in   1907-08. 
The  History  Room  on  the  tenth  floor  houses  a  historical  library  and  a 
museum  of  pioneer  relics  including  a  stagecoach,  veteran  of  the  Over- 
land Trail;  the  golden  spike  which  Leland  Stanford  drove  at  Promon- 
tory, Utah,  in  1869;  and  a  gold  scale  that  weighed  $55,000,000  worth 
of  the  gold  dust  mined  in  the  Mother  Lode. 

65.  The    neo-Gothic,    gable-roofed    ONE    ELEVEN    SUTTER 
BUILDING,  SW.  corner  Montgomery  and  Sutter  Sts.,  since  1927  has 
reared  its  buff-colored  terra  cotta  facades  22  stories  above  a  site  which 
was  worth  $300  when  James  Lick  bought  it  and  $175,000  when  he 
died.    The  marble-inlaid  lobby  and  corridors  of  the  interior  (Schultze 
and  Weaver,  architects) — the  pillars  adorned  with   green  and  white 
Verde  Antique  from  Greece,  the  lobby  floor  with  Hungarian  red,  the 
corridor   floors   with    Italian   Botticino,   Tennessee    pink,    and    Belgian 
black  marbles — rival  the  luxurious  interior  of  the  Lick  House,  which 
Lick  built  here  in  1862.     The  latter  hostelry  boasted  $1,000  gas  chan- 
deliers,   mirrored   walls,    and    mosaic   floors   of    rare    imported   woods. 
Trained  as  a  cabinet-maker,  the  eccentric  millionaire  finished  with  his 
own  hands  the  woodwork  of  the  luxurious  banquet  hall. 

The  building  houses  offices  and  studios  of  the  National  Broadcasting 
Company's  stations  KGO  and  KPO  (open  8:30  a.m.-n  p.m.).  On  the 
second  and  third  floors  are  the  reception  lobby,  executive  and  business 


196      SAN     FRANCISCO 

offices,  and  production  departments.  The  broadcasting  studios,  each 
with  its  own  control  room  and  monitor's  booth,  occupy  the  2ist  and 
22nd  stones.  Sharing  these  top  floors  respectively  are  the  music  library, 
largest  of  its  kind  west  of  New  York,  and  the  master  control  room, 
distributor  for  incoming  broadcasts. 

66.  Because   of   well-balanced   construction,    the    1 6-story   ALEX- 
ANDER BUILDING,   SW.  corner  Montgomery  and  Bush   Sts.,   a 
simple  shaft  faced  in  buff-colored  brick  and  terra  cotta  whose  vertical 
lines  give  it  a  towering  grace,  is  considered  ideal  for  studies  of  earth- 
quake stresses  on  skyscrapers.      Seismographs  installed   at   top,   center, 
and  bottom  of  the  structure  by  the  U.  S.  Geodetic  Survey  furnish  re- 
search data  for  the  University  of  California  and  Stanford  University. 
The  building  was  erected  in  1921   (Lewis  Hobart,  architect). 

67.  "The  Monument  to   1929" — thus  have  financial  circles,  since 
the  stock  market  crash,  referred  to  the  three-story  granite  SAN  FRAN- 
CISCO CURB  EXCHANGE  BUILDING,  350  Bush  St.   (J.  R. 
Miller  and  T.  L.  Pflueger,  architects).     Scene  of  the  frenzied  specula- 
tion of  the  1920*8,  it  housed  the  San  Francisco  Mining  Exchange  until 
1928,  when  it  was  taken  over  by  the  newly  organized  San  Francisco 
Curb  Exchange.     Remodeled  in  1938,  when  the  Curb  Exchange  was 
absorbed  by  the  San  Francisco  Stock  Exchange,  it  now  houses  the  Cali- 
fornia State  Chamber  of  Commerce. 

68.  "An  example  to  all  Western  architects  of  a  model  office  build- 
ing," wrote  Ernest  Peixotto  in  1893  of  the  MILLS  BUILDING,  220 
Montgomery  Street,   built  in    1891    for  banker   Darius   Ogden   Mills 
(Burnham  and  Root,  architects).     "It  is  an  architectural  composition, 
and  not  mere  walls  pierced  by  window  openings  ...  It  consists  of  a 
two-story  basement  of  Inyo  marble,  carrying  a  buff  brick  super-structure 
of  seven  stories,  crowned  by  a  two-story  attic.     The  angle  piers  .  .  . 
are  massive  and  sufficient;  between  them  piers  spring  from  the  third 
story,  crowned  in  the  eighth  by  arches  .  .   .  The  effect  of  height  is 
strengthened  by  the  strongly  marked  lines  of  the  piers  .  .  .  The  focus 
for  ornament  is  the   Montgomery  Street  entrance,  which   rises  to   an 
arch  ...  as  large  and  ample  as  it  should  be  .  .  ."     So  sound  was  the 
building's  construction  that  it  survived  the  fire  of  1906  with  little  dam- 
age to  its  exterior.    Adhering  to  the  original  design,  Willis  Polk  super- 
vised its  restoration  in  1908  and  the  erection  of  additions  in  1914  and 
1918.     When  the  adjoining  22-story  MILLS  TOWER   (entrance  at 
220  Bush  St.) — to  which  all  but  the  second  of  the  older  building's  ten 
floors  have  direct  access — was  erected  in  1931,  architect  Lewis  Hobart 
also  followed  Burnham's  design.     The  same  buff-colored  pressed  brick 
especially  manufactured  for  the  original  building  was  used  on  its  facade. 
The  combined  buildings  contain  1,300  offices  and  350,000  feet  of  floor 
space. 


METROPOLITAN     SCENE       197 

On  the  site  of  the  Mills  Building  in  the  i86o's  stood  Platt's  Hall, 
a  great  square  auditorium  where  people  flocked  for  lectures,  concerts, 
and  political  conventions.  On  its  stage,  Thomas  Starr  King  lifted 
Bret  Harte  from  obscurity  by  reading  his  poem,  "The  Reveille." 
Among  the  attractions  which  drew  crowds  were  Henry  Ward  Beecher 
and  General  Tom  Thumb  and  his  wife. 

69.  Largest   office   building  on   the    Pacific   Coast,   the   block-long 
RUSS  BUILDING,  235  Montgomery  St.,  stands  on  the  ground  where 
Christian  Russ,  in  1847,  established  a  residence  for  his  family  of  twelve. 
Here  in   1861   the  owner  of  Russ'  Gardens  built  the  Russ  House,  a 
hotel  long  favored  by  farmers,  miners  and  merchants.     Still  owned  by 
his  heirs,  its  site,  nine  decades  after  Russ  acquired  it  at  auction  for 
$37-5°>  was  assessed  at  $675,000.     Construction  of  today's  $5,500,000 
skyscraper,  begun  in  July,   1926,  was  completed  in  September,    1927. 
Modernized  Gothic,  the  massive,  sandy-hued  edifice  rises  31  stories,  its 
three  wings  deployed  in  the  shape  of  an  "E"    (George  W.  Kelham, 
architect).     Its   1,370  offices,  comprising  335,245  square  feet  of  floor 
space,  house  3,500  persons.     With  its  4OO-car  garage  and  its  eleventh- 
story  complete  shopping  department,  the  building  provides  its  personnel 
with  every  service  from  a  Public  Library  branch  to  a  language  transla- 
tion bureau. 

70.  The   15-story  FINANCIAL  CENTER  BUILDING,   NW. 
corner  Montgomery  and  California  Sts.,  marks  the  SITE  OF  THE 
PARROTT   BUILDING.     The   latter,   San   Francisco's  first  stone 
structure,  was  built  in  1852  by  Chinese  masons  of  granite  blocks  quar- 
ried in  China.    When  the  Chinese  struck  for  higher  pay  they  won  their 
demands  because  no  other  available  workers  could  read  the  markings 
on  the  blocks.     The  old  building  survived  earthquake  and  fire  but  was 
torn  down  in  1926  when  the  present  skyscraper  was  built. 

71.  Ten  lofty  granite  Tuscan  columns  flanked  by  massive  pylons 
dominate  the  temple-like  Pine  Street  facade  of  the  SAN  FRANCISCO 
STOCK  EXCHANGE  BUILDING   (open  Mon.-Fri.  7-2:30,  Sat. 
7-77),  SW.  corner  Pine  and  Sansome  Sts.   (public  entrance  155  San- 
some  St.).    The  pylons,  carved  by  Ralph  Stackpole,  symbolizing  Mother 
Earth's  fruitfulness  and  Man's  inventive  genius,  stand  on  either  side 
of  the  steps.     Above  the  Pine  Street  wing,  which  houses  the  Trading 
Room    (members  only),   rises  the   12-story  gray  granite  tower  of  the 
administration   wing.      Above   its    doorway,    carved    in    high    relief,    is 
Stackpole's  The  Progress  of  Man,  and  on  the  lintel,  a  sculptured  eagle 
with  outstretched  wings.    The  walls  of  the  public  lobby  are  inlaid  with 
dusky  red  Levanto  marble  and  the  ceiling  with  gold  leaf  in  a  geometric 
star  design.     A  marble  stairway  ascends  to  the  visitors'  gallery  over- 
looking the  Trading  Room. 

Above  the  high  windows  of  east  and  west  walls  of  the  Trading 


198      SAN     FRANCISCO 

Room  are  Robert  Boardman  Howard's  two  groups  of  three  sculptured 
panels — one  portraying  development  of  electric  power ;  the  other,  devel- 
opment of  gas  power.  Along  north  and  south  walls  extend  the  quota- 
tion boards,  their  markers'  galleries  equipped  with  ticker  receiving 
instruments  and  headset  telephones.  Beneath,  an  annunciator  signal 
system  summons  members  to  their  booths  along  the  sides  of  the  room. 
At  the  center  of  the  brown  rubber-tiled  trading  floor  is  stationed  the 
telegraph  ticker  transmitting  station,  which  sends  reports  of  every  trans- 
action to  brokers'  offices  along  the  Pacific  Coast.  Around  it  are  sta- 
tioned four  oak-panelled  hollow  enclosures  for  nine  trading  posts,  each 
equipped  with  electrically  synchronized  stamping  devices  that  indicate 
the  time  of  every  order  to  a  tenth  of  a  minute.  Essential  to  the  rapid 
handling  of  orders  is  the  telephone  exchange,  busiest  in  San  Francisco, 
which  handles  an  estimated  total  of  5,000  calls  per  hour  of  trading. 
It  can  handle  1,800  calls  at  one  time,  with  a  peak  capacity  of  180,000 
words  per  minute. 

The  ninth  floor  of  the  administration  wing  houses  headquarters  of 
the  Governing  Board  and  exchange  officials.  The  solid  oak  door  to  the 
walnut-panelled  Governing  Board  room  is  carved  with  a  bas-relief  by 
Robert  Boardman  Howard  depicting  the  steps  in  construction  of  a 
building.  The  Lunch  Club  quarters  (not  open  to  the  public)  on  the 
tenth  and  eleventh  floors  are  decorated  with  frescoes  by  Diego  Rivera 
depicting  California  history. 

In  the  basement  of  a  building  a  block  northward,  the  Stock  and 
Bond  Exchange  was  organized  September  18,  1882,  by  19  pioneer 
brokers.  It  succeeded  several  earlier  exchanges,  of  which  the  first,  the 
San  Francisco  Stock  and  Exchange  Board  (contemporaneously  referred 
to  as  "The  Forty  Thieves"),  had  been  established  in  1862.  Since 
1882  the  present  exchange  has  stopped  functioning  as  the  pulse  of  busi- 
ness life  on  the  Pacific  Coast  on  only  three  occasions:  April  18,  1906, 
because  of  the  earthquake  and  fire;  July  31,  1914,  because  of  the  World 
War;  and  March  2-14,  1933,  because  of  the  National  bank  holiday. 
Its  memberships,  which  sold  for  $50  in  1882  and  rose  to  an  all-time 
high  of  $225,000  in  1928,  today  sell  for  varying  sums,  the  most  recent 
sale  price  having  been  $16,500. 

72.  The  BANK  OF  CALIFORNIA  (open  Mon.-Fri.  10-3,  Sat. 
10-12),  NW.  corner  Sansome  and  California  Sts.,  was  erected  in  1908 
(Bliss  and  Faville,  architects).  The  gray  granite  building  has  tall  and 
finely  proportioned  Corinthian  colonnades.  The  immense  banking  room, 
112  feet  long  and  54  feet  high,  faced  in  Tennessee  marble,  resembles 
a  Roman  basilica.  In  the  rear  on  either  side  of  a  large  clock  are  carved 
marble  lions  (Arthur  Putnam,  sculptor).  Less  subdued  in  its  magnifi- 
cence was  the  .palatial  edifice  erected  on  this  site  to  house  the  bank  in 
1867,  three  years  after  its  establishment  with  Darius  Ogden  Mills  as 


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PORTSMOUTH  PLAZA 


MONTGOMERY  BLOCK 


TO  RE/K 
ROBERT 


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MONUMENT  TO  ROBERT  LOUTS  STEVENSON,  IN  PORTSMOUTH  PLAZA 


METROPOLITAN     SCENE       199 

president  and  William  C.  Ralston  as  cashier.  To  clear  the  site  they 
moved  the  Tehama  House — which  humorist  "John  Phoenix"  celebrated 
in  A  Legend  of  the  Tehama  House — a  popular  hostelry  among  Mexican 
rancheros  and  military  and  naval  officers.  Ralston  built  a  handsome 
two-story  structure  with  tall  arched  windows  surmounted  by  medallions 
and  framed  in  marble  columns,  a  cornice  crowned  with  a  stone  balus- 
trade supporting  fretted  vases,  doors  and  balcony  railings  of  bronze, 
and  a  burnished  copper  roof.  For  a  decade  the  bank  was  the  financial 
colossus  of  all  the  territory  west  of  the  Rocky  Mountains.  It  reached 
into  Nevada,  during  the  Comstock  Lode  boom,  to  establish  four  branch 
banks.  When  the  collapse  of  the  silver  boom  brought  it  crashing  from 
financial  dominance  in  1875,  the  whole  State  was  shaken.  But  the 
reorganized  bank  survived  and  grew,  taking  over  in  1905  the  London 
and  San  Francisco  Bank,  Ltd.,  with  branches  in  Oregon  and  Wash- 
ington. 

A  glass  case  in  the  main  office  contains  the  scales  on  which  Darius 
Ogden  Mills  weighed  some  $50,000,000  of  miners'  gold  in  the  tent 
which  he  set  up  at  Columbia  in  1849,  before  coming  to  San  Francisco 
to  become  president  of  Ralston's  bank. 

73.  Venerable  home  of  a  parent  organization  of  the  San  Francisco 
Chamber  of  Commerce  was  the  1 4-story  MERCHANTS'  EX- 
CHANGE BUILDING,  NE.  corner  California  and  Sansome  Sts. 
Here  until  1911  the  city's  moguls  of  industry  and  agriculture  congre- 
gated to  regulate  and  put  through  huge  deals  in  hay,  grain,  and  ship- 
ping. In  bonanza  days  Robert  Louis  Stevenson  used  to  haunt  the 
Exchange's  central  board  room,  where  he  found  material — in  such  men 
as  John  D.  Spreckels — for  heroes  of  The  Wreckers. 

Since  1851  the  main-floor  MARINE  EXCHANGE  (always  open)  has 
operated  continuously  except  during  1906  and  though  much  of  its 
romantic  element  was  lost  with  the  passing  of  sailing  ships,  its  function 
remains  virtually  the  same.  Outgrowth  of  the  old  Merchants'  Ex- 
change and  Reading  Room  established  in  1849  by  Messrs.  Sweeny  and 
Baugh,  who  operated  the  signal  station  on  Telegraph  Hill,  the  Exchange 
is  connected  with  lookout  stations  which  report  every  movement  of 
local  shipping.  It  receives  and  compiles  complete  information  from 
every  Pacific  Coast  vessel  from  start  to  finish  of  every  voyage.  Files 
on  the  Exchange's  mezzanine  floor  record  launchings,  cargoes,  crews, 
disasters,  sales,  weather  reports — all  marine  information  required  by 
shippers,  ship  owners,  ship  chandlers,  warehousemen,  exporters,  and 
importers.  Before  the  advent  of  the  telephone  a  messenger  boy  on  horse- 
back rushed  news  of  incoming  ships  from  the  Exchange  to  the  city's 
major  hotels. 

At  one  end  of  the  Exchange,  beneath  an  arch  set  at  right  angles 
to  the  south  wall,  hangs  the  original  Vigilance  Committee  bell  which 


2OO      SAN     FRANCISCO 

hung  on  top  of  Fort  Gunnybags  in  1856.  The  bell,  which  once  tolled 
the  death  knell  of  Cora  and  Gasey,  now  clangs  to  announce  to  the 
Exchange  some  mishap  to  a  ship  whose  home  port  is  San  Francisco. 

Though  grain,  shipping,  insurance,  and  similar  firms  still  occupy 
this  building,  which  survived  the  fire  of  1906,  its  chief  interest  lies  in 
such  features  as  evoke  its  past.  Something  of  its  lusty  social  tradition 
survives  in  the  Commercial  Club  occupying  three  top  stories  and  in 
the  Merchants'  Exchange  Club  in  the  basement.  Reminiscent  of  other 
days  are  Nils  Hagerup's  paintings  on  walls  of  the  main  lobby  depicting 
Amundsen's  explorations  in  the  Gjoa  and  W.  A.  Coulter's  ships  in  port 
and  at  sea.  The  latter's  huge  painting  of  the  San  Francisco  fire  hangs, 
draped  with  red  velvet,  in  the  billiard  room  of  the  Merchants'  Ex- 
change Club. 

74.  From  ground  above  the  hulls  of  long-buried  sailing  ships,  the 
FEDERAL    RESERVE    BANK    (open    Mon.-Fri.    8:30-4:30,    Sat. 
8:30-1},  NE.  corner  Sansome  and  Sacramento  Sts.,  rears  its  eight  white 
granite  Ionic  columns,  rising  up  three  of  its  seven  stories  to  a  classic 
pediment   (George  W.  Kelham,  architect).     When  steam  shovels  ex- 
cavated the  basement  vaults  in   1922,  they  exposed  the  oaken  skeleton 
of  the  city's  first  prison,  the  brig  Euphemia,  moored  at  Long  Wharf  in 
the    1 850'$.     The   Sansome    Street   entrance   leads   into   a   Travertine 
marble  lobby  with  murals  by  Jules  Guerin.     From  the  Battery  Street 
side,  ramps  descend  to  the  vaults,  where  trucks  discharge  treasure  for 
deposit  behind  36-ton  doors,  under  the  hawk-eyed  gaze  of  guards. 

75.  By  day,  bathed  in  sunlight,  the  3O-story  SHELL  BUILDING, 
NW.  corner  Battery  and  Bush  Sts.,  San  Francisco  headquarters  of  the 
Shell  Oil  Company  empire,  is  a  buff,  tapering  shaft;  by  night,  flood- 
light-swept, a  tower  looming  in  amber  radiance.     Its  Bush  Street  en- 
trance is  enriched  with  a  filigree  design  in  marble  and  bronze.     Erected 
in  1929  (George  W.  Kelham,  architect),  it  broke  Pacific  Coast  records 
for  rapid  construction,  rising  three  stories  each  week. 

76.  With   heroic   vigor,    the   bronze   figures   of   the    DONAHUE 
MONUMENT,  Battery,  Bush,  and   Market  Sts.    (Douglas  Tilden, 
sculptor) — five  brawny,   half-naked  workmen,   struggling  to   force   by 
lever  a   mechanical   punch   through  plate  metal — are   poised   on   their 
granite  base,  in  a  triangular  pedestrian  island.     Executed  in  1899,  the 
monument  is  James  Mervyn  Donahue's  memorial  to  his  father,  Peter 
Donahue,   founder  of   San   Francisco's  first  iron   foundry,   first   street 
railway,  and  first  gas  company.     A  bronze  plaque  etched  with  a  map 
in  the  pavement  at  its  base  marks  the  shoreline  as  it  was  before  Yerba 
Buena  Cove  was  filled  in,  when  Market  Street  from  this  point  north- 
east was  a  i,ooo-foot  wharf. 

77.  On  what  was  the  shifting  sand  of  a  Yerba  Buena  beach  lot 
towers  the  22-story,  gray  granite  STANDARD  OIL  BUILDING, 


METROPOLITAN     SCENE      2OI 

SW.  corner  Sansome  and  Bush  Sts.,  erected  in  1921  (George  W.  Kel- 
ham,  architect).  Its  cornice-overhung  facade,  the  upper  stories  adorned 
with  Doric  columns,  is  a  modern  adaptation  of  the  Florentine  style. 
The  two-story  vaulted  entrance  leads  into  an  ornate  lobby  of  bronze 
and  marble. 

78.  To  trace  the  origins  of  the  ANGLO   CALIFORNIA  NA- 
TIONAL BANK  (open  Mon.-Fri.  10-3,  Sat.  10-12),  i  Sansome  St., 
is   to   follow  the   ramifications   of   international   finance.      One   of   its 
parent  institutions,  the  Anglo  Californian  Bank,  Limited,  organized  in 
London  in  1873,  took  over  the  San  Francisco  branch  of  J.  and  W.  Selig- 
man  and  Company  of  New  York,  London,  Paris,  and  Frankfurt.   Three 
years  later  Lazard  Freres,  silk  importers  and  exchange  dealers  of  New 
York,  London,  and  Paris,  opened  a  San  Francisco  branch,  out  of  which 
grew,  in   1884,  the  London,   Paris,   and  American   Bank,   Limited,  of 
Great  Britain.     The  two  were  consolidated  in  1909  under  the  latter 
name  and  a  new  bank,  the  Anglo-Californian  Trust  Company,  emerged 
to  handle  the  older  bank's  savings  business.    The  Fleishhacker  brothers, 
Herbert  and  Mortimer,  gained  financial  prominence  as  presidents  of 
the  two  institutions.     By  1920  the  Anglo-Californian  Trust  Company 
had  absorbed  four  San  Francisco  banks,  and  by   1928  it  had  opened 
eight  local  branches.     From  the  merger  of  the  two  Fleishhacker  banks 
in    1932  came  today's  Anglo   California   National   Bank,   which   soon 
reached  into  the  rest  of  the  State.     By   1939 — when  the  number  of 
banks  absorbed  by  it  and  its  parent  institutions  had  grown  to  15 — it  was 
operating  branches  from  Redding  in  the  north  to  Bakersfield  in  the 
south. 

79.  Of  the  thousands  of  commuters  who  once  poured  daily  through 
the  Ferry  Building,  for  six  decades  San  Francisco's  chief  gateway  from 
the  east,  most  now  enter  the  city  through  the  BRIDGE  TERMINAL 
BUILDING,   Mission,  First,  and  Fremont  Sts.     The  low-spreading 
three-story  steel-and-concrete  structure,  completed  in  1939  at  a  cost  of 
$2,300,000,  is  the  terminal  for  electric  interurban  trains  carrying  pas- 
sengers over  the  San  Francisco-Oakland  Bay  Bridge  to  the  East  Bay. 
Through   the   terminal   pass   an   estimated   number   of   60,000   persons 
daily,  21,000,000  annually.     During  the  rush  hour,  between  4:45  and 
5  :45  p.m.,  when  37  trains  arrive  and  depart,  the  building  resounds  with 
the  din  of  shouting  newsboys,  taxi  barkers,  and  streetcars  clanging  up 
the  wide  ramp  from  First  and  Mission  Streets  to  discharge  passengers  at 
the  entrance.     Ramps  and  stairways  ascend  to  the  loading  platforms 
which  separate  the  three  pairs  of  tracks.    To  diminish  noise,  the  rails  are 
laid  on  timber  ties  embedded  in  concrete  which   rests  on  a   two-inch 
insulated  cushion.     A  viaduct  carries  the  trains  high  above  streets  and 
buildings  onto  the  lower  bridge  deck.    Their  speed  is  governed  by  a  code 
picked  from  the  tracks  by  a  receiver  attached  near  the  front  axles  and 


2O2      SAN     FRANCISCO 

transmitted  to  an  indicator  in  the  motorman's  cab.  If  the  motorman 
fails  to  slow  down  within  two  and  one-half  seconds  after  a  warning 
bell  indicates  a  slower  speed,  the  train  automatically  stops. 

80.  Exponent  of  fine  printing  is  the  firm  of  TAYLOR  AND  TAY- 
LOR, 404  Mission  St.,  established  in  1896  by  Edward  DeWitt  Taylor, 
who,  since  the  death  of  his  brother  and  co-partner  (Henry  H.  Taylor) 
in  1937,  remains  sole  owner.     Types,  Borders  &  Miscellany  of  Taylor 
&f  Taylor,  included  in  the  American  Institute  of  Graphic  Arts'  "Fifty 
Books  of  the  Year"  for  1940,  has  been  described  by  Oscar  Lewis  as 
having  a  "classical  simplicity  of  typographical  design."     Besides  limited 
editions  of  Californiana,  catalogs  for  art  exhibits,  and  items  for  various 
cultural  institutions,  Taylor  and  Taylor  are  printers  of  much  distinctive 
commercial  advertising.    Edward  Taylor  gained  local  fame  for  his  work 
in  the  installation  of  the  Denham  cost-finding  system  among  the  print- 
ing trades  of  the  Bay  region. 

In  the  firm's  composing  room  stands  an  ornamental  Columbian  hand 
press  (1818),  a  reminder  of  Taylor's  first  printing  venture  in  1882:  The 
Observer — a  journal  "devoted  to  general  literature  and  the  interests  ot 
the  Western  Addition." 

The  firm's  typographical  library  contains  two  centuries  of  European 
type  specimens  and  examples  of  fine  printing  from  the  fifteenth  century 
to  the  present.  Included  are  such  rare  editions  as  the  Kelmscott  Chaucer 
from  the  press  of  William  Morris  and  one  of  the  world's  most  compre- 
hensive collections  of  the  works  of  Homer. 

81.  On  wooden  piles  driven  into  the  mud  of  what  was  Yerba  Buena 
Cove  rest  the  17  steel-and-concrete  stories  of  the  PACIFIC  GAS  AND 
ELECTRIC  BUILDING,  245  Market  St.,  headquarters  of  the  Na- 
tion's third  largest  utilities  system,  which  originated  with  Peter  Dona- 
hue's gas  company  (1852)  and  the  California  Electric  Light  Company 
(1879),  both  Pacific  Coast  pioneers.     Designed  by  John  M.  Bakewell, 
the  building  was  opened  in  March,  1925.     Over  the  three-story  arched 
entrance   is   Edgar  Walter's  bas-relief   symbolizing  the   application   of 
electric  power  to  man's  needs.     The  granite  keystones  of  the  first-story 
arches,  carved  by  the  same  sculptor,   represent   the   rugged   mountain 
country   whose    rushing   torrents   have    been    tapped    for   hydroelectric 
power. 

82.  Memorial  to  the  company's  founder,  Swedish  sea  captain  Wil- 
liam Matson,  is  the  Viking  vessel  in  bas-relief  above  the  main  entrance 
of  the  1 6-story  MATSON  NAVIGATION  COMPANY  BUILD- 
ING, 215  Market  St.     Into  Hilo,  Hawaii,  in  1882,  Matson  sailed  his 
2OO-ton  schooner,  the  Emma  Claudine.     His  line  grew  from  one  vessel 
to  a  great  fleet  of  freighters  transporting  the  sugar  and  the  pineapple  of 
the  Islands  to  the  Pacific  Coast.    When  financial  ties  linked  the  Matson 
line  with  the  "Big  Five"  who  controlled  Hawaiian  sugar,  the  company 


METROPOLITAN     SCENE      2O3 

achieved  a  monopoly  of  Hawaiian  shipping.  In  1925  its  general  man- 
ager, Matson's  son-in-law,  William  P.  Roth,  built  the  $7,500,000  luxury 
liner,  Malolo,  to  carry  tourists  to  the  Islands;  began  construction  there 
of  a  luxury  hotel,  the  Royal  Hawaiian ;  and  inaugurated  a  Nation-wide 
advertising  campaign  to  popularize  "The  Paradise  of  the  Pacific."  Hav- 
ing bought  out  two  competing  lines,  he  constructed  three  more  liners — 
the  Lurline  for  the  Hawaiian  service  and  the  Mariposa  and  Monterey 
for  service  to  Australia  and  New  Zealand.  Beside  the  headquarters  of 
the  Matson  shipping  and  real  estate  empire,  the  Matson  Building  houses 
the  offices  of  four  of  the  firms  comprising  the  so-called  "Big  Five"  which 
dominate  finance,  trade,  transportation,  and  utilities  of  the  Hawaiian 
Islands. 

83.  The  ten-story  SOUTHERN  PACIFIC  BUILDING,  65 
Market  St.,  constructed  in  1917,  is  headquarters  for  the  railroad  system 
inaugurated  by  the  "Big  Four's"  Central  Pacific  in  1869.  The  build- 
ing's 506,000  tons  of  steel  and  concrete  (Bliss  and  Faville,  architects) 
rest  on  60  miles  of  cedar  piling.  It  stands  on  the  SITE  OF  THE  PRE- 
PAREDNESS DAY  PARADE  BOMBING,  where  ten  persons  were  killed  July 
22,  1916,  in  an  explosion  which  led  to  the  conviction  and  imprisonment 
of  Thomas  Mooney  and  Warren  K.  Billings. 


Landmarks  of  the  Old  Town 

"Cities,  like  men,  have  their  birth,  growth  and  maturer  years. 
Some  are  born  Titans,  and  from  the  beginning  promise  to  be 
mighty  in  their  deeds,  however  wilful  and  destructive." 

— The  Annals   of  San  Francisco    (1852) 

THE  MARVEL  is  not  that  so  little  but  that  so  much  of  the  city's 
venerable  and  homely  architecture  has  escaped  time's  vicissitudes 
—  of  which  not  the  least  was  the  fire  of  1906.  Recalling  the 
great  fire  of  1851 — in  which  the  El  Dorado  gambling  saloon  was  saved 
by  the  citizenry's  desperate  stand — one  may  suppose  that  the  area  around 
Portsmouth  Square  was  spared,  less  by  a  shift  of  wind,  than  by  San 
Franciscans  stubbornly  defending  the  cradle  of  their  traditions.  Unlike 
the  carefully  preserved  Vieux  Carre  of  New  Orleans,  however,  it  sur- 
vives, not  through  care,  but  through  sheer  neglect. 

On  the  muddy  shores  of  a  little  cove  at  the  southeastern  base  of  a 
rocky  hill  (Telegraph  Hill),  San  Francisco  was  born.  A  short  distance 
inland,  Francisco  de  Haro  marked  out  his  Calle  de  la  Fundacion,  skirt- 
ing the  shore  on  its  way  north-northwest  over  the  hill  toward  the  Pre- 
sidio (along  the  present  Grant  Avenue).  Just  north  of  Washington 
and  Montgomery  streets  was  an  inlet  from  which  the  shoreline  ran 
diagonally  southeast  to  Rincon  Hill  (western  terminus  of  the  San  Fran- 
cisco-Oakland Bay  Bridge).  From  the  rocky  headland  north  of  the 
inlet,  first  called  Punta  del  Embarcadero  and  later  Clark's  Point  (now 
the  intersection  of  Battery  Street  and  Broadway),  William  S.  Clark 
built  the  first  pile  wharf  in  1847.  The  line  of  anchorage  was  the  pres- 
ent Battery  Street,  where  the  Russians  loaded  grain  and  meat  for  their 
Alaskan  colonies,  where  the  frigate  Artemisia — first  French  ship  to  enter 
the  Bay — anchored  in  1827,  and  the  San  Luis — first  American  warship 
to  enter  the  harbor — in  1841.  When  the  warship  Portsmouth  dropped 
anchor  July  8,  1846,  Captain  John  B.  Montgomery  disembarked  at 
what  is  now  the  southeast  corner  of  Montgomery  and  Clay  streets  (see 
plaque  on  Bank  of  America  Building,  552  Montgomery  St.).  The 
Plaza  (later  Portsmouth  Square)  was  only  500  feet  west  of  the  water's 
edge. 

West  of  the  Plaza,  facing  the  Calle  de  la  Fundacion  between  the 
two  cross  streets  (now  Clay  and  Washington  streets)  which  ran  east- 
ward to  the  line  of  Montgomery  Street  along  the  water's  edge,  "the 
first  tenement"  (reports  The  Annals  of  San  Francisco)  had  been  "con- 
structed in  the  year  1835  by  Captain  W.  R.  Richardson,  and  up  to  the 

204 


LANDMARKS     OF     THE     OLD     TOWN      2O5 

year  1846,  there  might  not  be  more  than  twenty  or  thirty  houses  of  all 
descriptions  in  the  place."  Richardson's  dwelling  (see  plaque  between 
823  and  827  Grant  Avenue)  was  "a  large  tent,  supported  on  four  red- 
wood posts  and  covered  with  a  ship's  foresail."  Near  by  on  July  4, 
1836,  Jacob  Primer  Leese  completed  Yerba  Buena's  first  permanent 
dwelling — "a  rather  grand  structure,  being  made  of  frame  sixty  feet 
long  and  twenty-five  feet  broad."  (The  plaque  at  the  southwest  corner 
of  Clay  Street  and  Grant  Avenue  states  incorrectly  that  here  Leese 
"erected  the  first  building  in  San  Francisco,"  birthplace  of  "the  first 
white  child  in  San  Francisco  .  .  .  April  15,  1838."  The  first  building 
was  erected  at  the  Presidio  in  1776,  and  the  first  white  child  was  born 
at  the  site  of  Mission  Dolores  August  10,  1776.)  Not  to  be  outdone  by 
Leese,  Richardson  erected  his  adobe  "Casa  Grande." 

Soon  after  United  States  conquest,  Americans  had  built  a  sprawling 
town  on  the  cove;  by  1847  there  were  "22  shanties,  31  frame  houses, 
and  26  adobe  dwellings."  City  Engineer  Jasper  O'Farrell  laid  out  the 
streets  in  checkerboard  fashion,  swinging  De  Haro's  Calle  de  la  Funda- 
cion  into  line  with  the  north-and-south  streets,  and  extending  the  town's 
limits  far  beyond  the  district  surveyed  by  Jean  Vioget  in  1839  (bounded 
by  Montgomery,  Dupont,  Pacific,  and  Sacramento  Streets) — westward 
to  Leavenworth  Street,  north  to  Francisco,  south  to  Post,  and  southeast 
beyond  Market  Street.  The  year  1848  marked  the  first  building  boom. 
According  to  The  Annals  of  San  Francisco,  "A  vacant  lot  ...  was 
offered  the  day  prior  to  the  opening  of  the  [Broadway]  wharf  for 
$5,000,  but  there  were  no  buyers.  The  next  day  the  same  lot  sold 
readily  at  $10,000."  Long  before  lots  could  be  surveyed,  the  area  was 
"overspread  with  a  multitude  of  canvas,  blanket  and  bough  covered 
tents, — the  bay  was  alive  with  shipping  .  .  ." 

The  community  soon  pushed  eastward  beyond  the  shore  line,  sup- 
porting itself  with  piles  above  the  water  and  over  rubble  dumped  into 
the  tidal  flats.  Most  of  Commercial  Street  was  then  Long  Wharf,  built 
2,000  feet  into  the  Bay  from  Leidesdorff  Street  in  1850.  A  narrow 
plank  walk,  connecting  Long  Wharf  with  the  Sacramento  Street  pier, 
was  the  beginning  of  Sansome  Street.  Into  abandoned  ships,  dragged 
inland  and  secured  from  the  tides,  moved  merchants  and  lodgers.  Of 
these  vessels,  perhaps  the  most  famous  was  the  windjammer  Niantic — 
one  of  the  first  to  sail  through  the  Golden  Gate  after  1849 — abandoned 
by  crew  and  passengers  bound  for  the  "diggin's."  Doors  were  cut,  the 
hold  was  partitioned  into  warehouses,  and  offices  were  built  on  deck. 
When  the  superstructure  was  destroyed  by  fire  in  1851,  the  Niantic 
Hotel  (replaced  in  1872  by  the  Niantic  Block)  was  erected  on  the  site 
(see  plaque  at  ~NW .  corner  Clay  and  Sansome  Sts.).  Among  other 
vessels  claimed  were  the  General  Harrison,  at  the  northwest  corner  of 


2O6      SAN     FRANCISCO 

Clay  and  Battery  streets,  and  the  Apollo,  at  the  northwest  corner  of 
Sacramento  and  Battery  streets. 

On  Christmas  Eve,  1849,  fire  destroyed  the  ramshackle  city.  By 
May  4,  1851,  it  had  been  burned  five  times.  So  reluctant  were  men  to 
invest  in  San  Francisco  building  enterprises  that  the  East  Bay  enjoyed  a 
tremendous  growth.  To  restore  local  confidence,  bankers  and  realtors 
combined  to  erect  fire-  and  earthquake-proof  buildings.  First  was  the 
Parrott  Block,  built  of  granite  blocks  imported — cut  and  dressed — from 
China,  on  the  present  site  of  the  Financial  Center  building  at  the  north- 
west corner  of  Montgomery  and  California  streets.  Along  Montgomery 
and  adjoining  streets  arose  a  series  of  office  buildings — solid,  dignified, 
well-proportioned — which  still  remain. 

The  life  of  the  town  for  more  than  three  decades  revolved  around 
San  Francisco's  first  "Civic  Center,"  Portsmouth  Square — the  Plaza  of 
Mexican  days.  At  its  northwest  corner  stood  Yerba  Buena's  govern- 
ment building,  the  adobe  Customhouse,  where  Captain  John  B.  Mont- 
gomery quartered  his  troops  in  1846.  Authorized  by  the  Mexican 
Government  in  1844,  the  four-room,  attic-crowned  structure  with 
veranda  on  three  sides,  was  not  finished  at  the  time.  Soon  afterwards 
occupied  by  the  alcalde  and  the  tax  collector,  it  became  the  seat  of  city 
government.  (From  the  beams  of  the  south  veranda,  in  1851,  the  first 
Vigilance  Committee  hanged  the  thief,  John  Jenkins.)  At  the  behest 
of  the  newcomers  from  the  Portsmouth,  Captain  John  Vioget,  the  town's 
first  surveyor,  changed  the  name  of  his  Vioget  House,  the  town's  first 
hotel,  to  Portsmouth  House.  In  the  bar  and  billiard  saloon  of  the 
wooden  building,  at  the  southeastern  corner  of  Clay  and  Kearny  streets, 
hung  Vioget's  original  map.  Across  the  street  on  the  southwest  corner 
was  the  long,  one-story  adobe  store  and  home  of  William  Alexander 
Leidesdorff,  the  pioneer  business  man  from  the  Danish  West  Indies,  of 
mixed  Negro  and  Danish  blood,  who  was  the  American  Vice-Consul 
under  Mexican  rule.  At  the  first  United  States  election  held  here  on 
September  15,  1846,  Lieutenant  Washington  A.  Bartlett  was  chosen 
alcalde.  Leidesdorff's  house  was  transformed  in  November  by  John  H. 
Brown  into  a  hotel,  later  known  as  the  City  Hotel.  On  the  west  side 
of  the  square  was  built  in  1847  the  first  public  schoolhouse,  which  soon 
served  also  as  jail,  courthouse,  church,  and  town  hall,  grandiloquently 
called  the  "Public  Institute." 

Around  Portsmouth  Square  clustered  in  the  early  i85o's  the  noisy 
saloons,  theaters,  and  gambling  houses  of  the  city's  first  bawdy  amuse- 
ment zone.  Not  only  the  first  public  schoolhouse  and  the  first  hotel,  but 
also  the  first  theater  faced  the  plaza :  Washington  Hall,  on  Washington 
Street  along  the  north  side,  where  the  city's  first  play  was  presented  in 
January,  1850.  In  the  same  block  were  built  the  Monumental  Engine 
House  No.  6,  and  the  Bella  Union  Melodeon.  The  famous  Maguire's 


LANDMARKS     OF     THE     OLD     TOWN      2O7 

Opera  House  (see  Social  Heritage:  Before  the  Footlights)  rose  on  the 
east  side  of  the  square.  To  the  east,  on  the  site  of  the  present  Hall  of 
Justice,  were  the  rowdy  Eldorado  gambling  house  and  the  Parker 
House,  which  became  the  Jenny  Lind  Theatre  in  1850  and  the  first 
permanent  City  Hall  two  years  later. 

Today  the  cradle  of  old  San  Francisco  is  a  half-mile  inland.  Its 
ageing  landmarks,  hemmed  in  by  Chinatown  and  North  Beach  on  the 
north  and  west,  by  the  financial  and  commission  districts  on  the  south 
and  east,  are  all  but  overlooked.  Persistent  indeed  must  be  the  observer 
who  can  discover  the  few  remaining  landmarks  of  the  vanished  village 
of  Yerba  Buena. 

Montgomery  Street,  the  water  front  of  '49,  commercial  artery  of 
the  roaring  boom  town,  relaxed  into  a  bohemian  quarter  long  before 
1906;  artists'  studios  still  occupy  buildings  which  housed  journalists  and 
bankers,  gamblers  and  merchants  and  bartenders,  miners  and  sailors  and 
stagecoach  qjivers.  Realtors,  printers,  lawyers,  and  pawnbrokers  occupy 
outmoded  structures  wherein  their  forbears  speculated  on  fabulous 
"deals"  in  a  boom  era.  Here,  Chinese,  Filipinos,  Italians,  Frenchmen, 
all  sorts  of  Americans,  still  congregate  and  engage  in  business.  But 
sailors  from  the  seven  seas  gather  no  more  on  the  slope  of  Portsmouth 
Square. 

Something  of  the  relative  simplicity  of  the  Argonauts — not  the  gaudy 
pretentiousness  of  their  bonanza  successors — survives  in  those  old  build- 
ings with  square  cornices  and  simple  facades,  whose  cornerstones  were 
laid  upon  redwood  piling  and  filled-in  land  during  1849  and  the  early 
1 850*8.  A  few  bronze  plaques  here  and  there  are  all  that  identify  San 
Francisco's  memorable  landmarks  of  the  Gold  Rush  era.  A  few  names 
of  defunct  firms,  in  obscure  letters  across  weatherbeaten  facades,  tell 
legends  which  only  those  knowing  the  city's  lore  may  fully  comprehend. 
A  few  steep  and  narrow  streets,  a  quiet  plaza,  an  odor  of  decay,  and  a 
few  scattered  relics  are  all  that  remain  of  that  once  crowded  area. 

POINTS  OF  INTEREST 

84.  Upon  the  green,  sloping  lawns  of  PORTSMOUTH  PLAZA, 
Kearny,  Clay,  and  Washington  Sts.,  Candelario  Miramontes,  who 
resided  at  the  Presidio,  raised  potatoes  in  the  early  1 830*5.  When  the 
plot  became  a  plaza  is  not  known.  Until  1854,  when  it  was  graded  and 
paved,  it  had  been  graced  only  with  a  speakers'  platform  and  a  cowpen. 
Most  of  the  stirring  events  from  the  1840'$  to  the  i86o's  took  place  here 
— processions,  flag  raisings,  lynchings,  May  Day  fetes.  When  news  of 
the  death  of  Henry  Clay  was  received,  all  the  buildings  surrounding  the 
plaza  were  draped  in  black.  To  hear  Colonel  E.  D.  Baker's  funeral 
oration  here  for  Senator  David  Broderick  (fatally  wounded  in  a  duel 


2O8      SAN     FRANCISCO 

September  13,  1859,  by  Judge  David  S.  Terry)  30,000  people  gathered. 
From  1850  to  1870  the  square  was  headquarters  for  public  hacks  and  the 
omnibus  which  ran  from  North  Beach  to  South  Park.  In  1873  crowds 
gathered  to  gape  at  Andrew  Hallidie's  pioneer  cable  car  climbing  the 
hill  on  its  first  trip  from  the  terminus  at  Clay  and  Kearny  streets. 
Before  1880  the  square  ceased  to  be  the  center  of  civic  gravity,  as  the 
business  district  moved  south  and  west.  Into  abandoned  buildings  moved 
the  Chinese  on  the  west  and  north,  the  habitues  of  the  Barbary  Coast  to 
the  northeast,  the  residents  of  the  Latin  Quarter  on  the  east.  Here 
terrified  Chinese  ran  about  beating  gongs  to  scare  off  the  fire  demons 
during  the  earthquake  and  conflagration  of  1906;  here  came  exhausted 
fire  fighters  to  rest  among  milling  refugees;  here  shallow  graves  held 
the  dead;  and  thousands  camped  during  reconstruction.  The  Board  of 
Supervisors,  in  December,  1927,  restored  the  square's  Spanish  designa- 
tion of  "plaza." 

Under  the  boughs  of  three  slender  poplars  stands  the  RQBERT  Louis 
STEVENSON  MONUMENT,  the  first  shrine  ever  erected  to  the  memory  of 
the  man  who  sought  the  sunshine  here  in  1879.  A  simple  granite  shaft 
surmounted  by  a  bronze  galleon  in  full  sail,  the  Hispaniola  of  Treasure 
Island  (Bruce  Porter,  architect;  George  Piper,  sculptor),  the  monu- 
ment is  inscribed  with  an  excerpt  from  Stevenson's  "Christmas  Sermon." 
Around  it  are  clumps  of  purple  Scotch  heather. 

Near  the  square's  northwest  corner,  the  MONTGOMERY  FLAG  POLE 
marks  the  site  on  which  Captain  John  B.  Montgomery  first  raised  the 
United  States  flag,  July  9,  1846.  Erected  in  1924  by  the  Daughters  of 
the  American  Revolution,  it  has  at  its  base  a  plaque  inscribed  in  com- 
memoration of  the  event. 

85.  On  historic  ground  stands  the  HALL  OF  JUSTICE,  SE.  cor- 
ner Kearny  and  Washington  Sts.,  facing  Portsmouth  Plaza.  Here  stood 
the  famous  Eldorado  gambling  house,  and  here,  too,  was  Dennison's 
Exchange  Saloon,  where  the  first  official  Democratic  Party  meeting  was 
held  October  25,  1849,  and  where  the  first  of  the  city's  fires  broke  out 
two  months  later.  Destroyed  in  this  fire,  the  Parker  House  next  door, 
built  by  Robert  A.  Parker  and  John  H.  Brown,  was  rebuilt — only  to  be 
twice  burned  again.  Destroyed  a  third  time  in  1851,  the  year  after 
Thomas  Maguire  had  converted  it  into  the  Jenny  Lind  Theater,  it  was 
reconstructed.  When  a  fifth  fire  reduced  it  to  ashes  in  the  same  year,  it 
was  replaced  by  the  third  Jenny  Lind  Theater,  built  of  stone.  This  the 
city  purchased  in  1852  for  a  City  Hall  (see  Civic  Center),  to  which  it 
annexed  the  four-story  building  on  the  site  of  the  Eldorado  for  a  Hall 
of  Records.  Razed  in  1895,  tne  two  buildings  were  replaced  by  the 
first  Hall  of  Justice,  which  in  turn  was  replaced  after  1906  by  the 
present  somber  gray-stone  structure  (Newton  J.  Tharp,  architect), 


LANDMARKS     OF     THE     OLD     TOWN      2O9 

housing  the  city  police  department  and  courts,  Superior  Court  criminal 
division,  city  prison,  and  morgue. 


S.  on  Kearny  St.  to  Commercial  St.,  E.  from  Kearny  on  Commecrial. 

86.  "To  take  some  worthy  works  that  are  in  danger  of  extinction 
and  perpetuate  them  in  suitable  form"  is  the  aim  of  the  GRAB  HORN 
PRESS,   642   Commercial   St.,  as  stated  by  Edwin  Grabhorn.      Since 
1919  he  and  his  brother  Robert — whom  the  English  book  expert,  George 
Jones,   has   declared   the   world's  greatest   printers — have   been   issuing 
their  rare  and  valuable  books  in  San  Francisco.     Of  the  books  which 
first  gave  them  renown,  their  edition  of  Walt  Whitman's  Leaves  of 
Grass,  illustrated  with  Valenti  Angelo's  woodcuts,  is  especially  remem- 
bered.   They  have  reproduced  such  items  as  New  Helvetia.    Diary.    A 
record  of  events  kept  by  John  A.  Suiter  £2°  his  clerks,  at  New  Helvetia, 
California,  from  September  9,   184$  to  May  25,   1848    (1939);   and 
Naval  Sketches  of  the   War  in   California,  reproducing  28   drawings 
made  in  1846-47  by  William  H.  Meyers,  gunner  on  the  U.S.  Sloop-of- 
war  Dale   (1939).     Each  year  since  1919,  at  least  one  of  their  books 
(in  1939,  three)  has  been  chosen  by  the  American  Institute  of  Graphic 
Arts  as  one  of  the  50  best  books  published  in  the  United  States.     The 
ground-floor  office  of  the  old  two-story  brick  building  is  a  repository  of 
Grabhorn  publications  and  historic  photographs,  prints,  and  posters  dat- 
ing from  Gold  Rush  days. 

87.  The  massive  first-story  walls  of  the  UNITED  STATES  SUB- 
TREASURY  BUILDING,  608  Commercial  St.,  erected  in  1875-77 
on  the  SITE  OF  THE  FIRST  UNITED  STATES  BRANCH  MINT,  have  resisted 
earthquake,  fire,  and  dynamite.     Of  the  original  structure's  three  stories 
of  red  brick,  erected  over  the  mint's  steel-lined  vaults,  only  the  first 
remains,   now   roofed   over,   its   square   red-brick   columns   crowned   by 
weathered  gray  curlicues.    The  basement  houses  still  the  old  vaults  with 
their  steel-lined  walls  and  intricate  locks. 

Here,  in  what  was  the  young  city's  financial  district,  the  United 
States  Government  in  1852  purchased  the  property  of  Curtiss,  Ferry 
and  Ward,  Assayers,  for  $335,000,  and  reconstructed  the  building  as  a 
fireproof,  three-story  brick  structure.  On  April  3,  1854  San  Francisco's 
first  mint  was  opened,  equipped  to  issue  $100,000  worth  of  currency 
daily.  By  1887  San  Francisco  had  coined  $242,000,000 — almost  half  as 
much  money  as  the  Philadelphia  mint  had  issued  since  1793.  As  early 
as  1859,  the  first  mint  proved  to  be  far  too  small;  and,  finally,  the  old 
building  was  razed,  following  completion  of  a  second  mint,  in  1874. 

In  1877  the  new  United  States  Subtreasury  was  opened  on  the  site 
of  the  first  mint.  In  April,  1906,  the  structure  was  dynamited  in  an 
effort  to  halt  the  flames.  Unshaken  by  the  blast,  the  3O-inch-thick 


2IO      SAN     FRANCISCO 

first-story  walls  also  withstood  the  fire,  as  did  the  basement  vaults, 
which  were  crammed  with  $13,000,000  in  gold.  When,  in  1915, 
the  subtreasury  was  moved  to  its  new  building  on  the  site  of  the  San 
Francisco  Stock  Exchange,  the  old  building  was  taken  over  by  private 
firms. 

88.  At  the  heart  of  the  old  financial  center  stands  the  B.  DAVID- 
SON BUILDING,  NW.  corner  Montgomery  and  Commercial  Sts., 


MERCHANT  I  I    I 

EZ3I 


CHINATOWN  Points  of  Interest  ll° 
OLD  TOWN  Points  of  Interest    ((90 


whose  first  story  was  built  soon  after  the  fire  of  May  4,  1851  for 
merchant  William  D.  M.  Howard.  A  few  years  later,  two  more  stories 
were  added.  On  the  walls  of  the  first-floor  tobacco  shop  are  pictures  of 
the  structure  taken  in  Gold  Rush  days.  The  iron  vaults,  where  pioneer 
bankers  stored  their  treasure,  remain  in  the  basement — so  stoutly  con- 
structed that  they  long  defied  attempts  to  open  them  for  the  present 
owner. 

In  excavating  a  sewer  along  the  Commercial  Street  side,  in   1854, 
workmen  uncovered  a  coffin  with  a  glass-covered  aperture  in  its  lid, 


LANDMARKS     OF     THE     OLD     TOWN      211 

through  which  could  be  discerned  a  man's  features.  A  coroner's  exam- 
ination revealed  that  the  man  was  Hudson's  Bay  Company's  agent, 
William  Glenn  Rae,  son-in-law  of  Chief  Factor  John  McLoughlin. 
Arriving  at  Yerba  Buena  in  August,  1841,  Rae  opened  his  post  in  the 
store  room,  with  $10,000  worth  of  goods.  To  rebels  against  Governor 
Manuel  Micheltorena  in  1844,  he  furnished  $15,000  worth  of  stores 
and  munitions.  Worried  over  collapse  of  the  revolt  and  fearing  punish- 
ment, Rae  took  to  drinking  heavily.  On  January  19,  1845  he  shot  him- 
self. He  was  buried  in  the  garden  outside  his  house. 

When  the  Americans  took  California  in  1846,  the  Hudson's  Bay 
Company  sold  its  property  to  the  merchants  and  realtors,  Mellus,  How- 
ard and  Company.  Seeing  a  prosperous  future  for  San  Francisco,  the 
Rothschilds  of  London  authorized  Benjamin  Davidson  to  open  an  agency 
for  their  banking  firm.  Of  the  five  banking  firms  which,  according  to 
the  Annals  of  San  Francisco,  were  operating  in  the  city  at  the  end  of 

1849,  three  were  situated  on  Leese's  old  loo-vara  frontage — Davidson; 
Thomas  Wells  and  Company;  and  James  King  of  William.     Early  in 

1850,  when  Long  Wharf  opened  into  Montgomery  Street,  the  Hudson's 
Bay  Company's  old  post  was  the  United  States  Hotel. 

When  all  of  the  old  building  but  Leese's  original  adobe  kitchen  was 
destroyed  by  fire  in  1851,  William  Howard  had  the  room  roofed  with 
Australian  bricks  by  Chinese  laborers.  Soon  Howard  erected  a  new 
brick  structure  (now  the  first  story  of  the  present  B.  Davidson  Build- 
ing), into  which  moved  the  Rothschilds'  agent. 

N.  from  Commercial  St.  on  Montgomery  St. 

89.  Oldest  business  building  in   San   Francisco  is  the  BOLTON 
AND  BARRON  BUILDING,  NW.  corner  Montgomery  and  Mer- 
chant Sts.,  a  three-story  fortress-like  edifice,  with  rusty  iron  fire-escapes 
hanging  wearily  from  its  flat  roof.    Built  in  1849,  its  brick  and  cast-iron 
walls  withstood  successive  fires.    Today,  geraniums  peep  from  boxes  in 
the  deep-set  windows  of  upper-floor  studio  apartments,   and  a  gaudy 
black-tile  facade  adorns  the  ground-floor  tavern. 

90.  "Halleck's  Folly"  and  "The  Floating  Fortress,"  people  called 
the  four-story  MONTGOMERY  BLOCK,  Montgomery,  Merchant, 
and  Washington  Sts.,  when  Henry  W.  Halleck  (later  General-in-chief 
of  the  Union  Army)  began  building  it  in  1853.    Wiseacres  predicted  it 
either  would  sink  into  the  ooze  of  the  tidelands  or  float  across  the  Bay 
on  its  foundation  of  redwood  logs.     But  the  structure  is  still  in  good 
repair,  though  shorn  of  its  heavy  iron  shutters,  the  carved  portrait  heads 
which   adorned   its  facade,   and  the  wrought-iron  balcony  which   ran 
along  its  second  story. 

Conceiving  of  a  building  constructed  upon  military  lines,   Halleck 


212      SAN     FRANCISCO 

consulted  architect  G.  P.  Cummings;  together  they  drew  up  a  design 
combining  the  principles  of  the  fortress  with  those  of  the  Florentine 
court:  four  connecting  buildings  around  a  courtyard.  The  four  build- 
ings were  then  linked  by  wrought-iron  bands  and  adjustable  turnbuckles 
inserted  between  the  floor  levels.  The  building  defied  every  accepted 
principle  of  construction. 

Dedicated  as  the  Washington  Block  on  December  23,  1853,  it  was 
the  largest  building  on  the  Pacific  Coast.  It  was  popularly  called  the 
Montgomery  Block,  and  its  builders  officially  changed  the  name  the 
following  year.  Within  the  year  it  was  San  Francisco's  legal  center, 
housing  the  city's  first  law  library.  Most  of  the  Adams  Express  Com- 
pany's gold  bullion  was  placed  in  the  basement  vaults.  The  second  floor 
housed  a  huge  billiard  parlor.  Here  were  the  offices  of  the  Pacific  and 
Atlantic  Railroad,  of  the  United  States  Engineers  Corps,  of  the  Alta 
California  and  the  Daily  Herald.  For  30  years,  the  block  housed  the 
portion  of  Adolph  Sutro's  library  (now  in  the  San  Francisco  Public 
Library)  that  escaped  the  1906  fire. 

As  James  King  of  William  lay  dying  in  one  of  the  rooms  in  1856, 
prominent  citizens  organized  the  Vigilance  Committee  that  hanged  his 
assassin,  James  P.  Casey.  King  was  shot  in  front  of  the  Bank  Exchange 
Saloon  on  the  ground  floor,  where  brokers  did  business  until  establish- 
ment of  a  stock  exchange  in  1862. 

On  that  April  morning  in  1906,  when  flames  were  bearing  down 
upon  the  block,  soldiers  stood  powder  kegs  against  the  walls,  ready  to 
blast  a  fire-break.  Oliver  Perry  Stidger,  agent  for  the  building,  begged 
them  to  wait,  appealing  to  their  civic  pride  in  an  impassioned  speech. 
Soon  the  danger  had  passed.  Since  this  was  the  only  downtown  office 
building  undamaged  by  the  fire,  it  again  became  a  center  of  business 
activity. 

In  the  1 890*5  various  artists  of  the  West  had  begun  setting  up  their 
studios  in  the  Montgomery  Block.  With  them  came  Frank  Norris, 
Kathleen  and  Charles  Norris,  George  Sterling,  and  Charles  Caldwell 
Dobie.  Known  affectionately  as  the  "Monkey  Block"  today,  the  old 
building  consists  largely  of  offices  converted  into  studios. 

91.  The    SHIP    BUILDING,    716-18-20    Montgomery    St.,    sup- 
posedly owes  its  origin  to  the  gold-seeking  master  and  crew  of  the  Geor- 
gean,  who  deserted  her  in  the  spring  of  '49.     The  schooner  lay  aban- 
doned in  the  mud  near  Sansome  Street,  her  cargo  of  Kentucky  "Twist" 
(chewing  tobacco)  and  New  Orleans  cotton  molding  and  unsold,  until 
a  speculator  claimed  salvage  rights  and  beached  her  on  the  present  site. 
Today  the  supposed  "foc'sle  head"  of  the  old  schooner  houses  a  Chinese 
laundry  and  a  plumbing  shop ;  the  second  floor,  artist's  studios. 

92.  Gay  blades  haunted  the  MELODEON  THEATER  BUILD- 
ING, 722-24  Montgomery  St.,  awaiting  companions  for  a  "bird-and- 


LANDMARKS     OF     THE     OLD     TOWN       213 

bottle"  supper.  Opening  December  15,  1857,  the  Melodeon  drew  sea- 
faring men  and  miners,  who  delighted  in  its  musical  and  minstrel 
shows.  After  the  Melodeon  closed  about  1858,  the  hall  was  rented 
infrequently  to  various  groups.  Here  in  1883,  according  to  Disturnell's 
Strangers'  Guide  to  San  Francisco  and  Vicinity,  was  the  "extensive 
bathing  establishment  of  Dr.  Justin  Gates.  .  .  .  Special  apartments  have 
been  nicely  fitted  up  for  ladies  and  families." 

93.  San    Francisco's    oldest    sign,    hanging    from    the    GENELLA 
BUILDING,   728   Montgomery  St.,   states  in   faded  black  and  gold 
letters  that  "H.  and  W.  Pierce  .  .  .  Loans  and  Commissions"  once  did 
business  here,  exchanging  paper  and  coins  for  gold  bullion.     The  struc- 
ture was  built  about  1854  by  Joseph  Genella,  who  dealt  in  chinaware  in 
an  upstairs  room.     On  the  second  floor  the  International  Order  of  Odd 
Fellows  had  its  first  hall,  where  Yerba  Buena  Lodge  No.  15  met  every 
Thursday  evening.     Since  the  early  1920*5,  the  second  floor  has  housed 
PERRY  DILLEY'S  PUPPET  THEATER,  which  presents  an  annual  season 
of  performances,  beginning  usually  in  April.     Dilley  creates  all  of  his 
own  figures,  designs  and  paints  his  sets,  writes  the  musical  scores,  and 
re-writes  classical  and  modern  plays  to  suit  his  medium. 

94.  Named  for  the  first  of  San  Francisco's  literary  periodicals,  the 
GOLDEN  ERA  BUILDING,  732-34  Montgomery  St.,  housed  on  its 
second  floor  for  more  than  two  years  the  weekly  established  in  Decem- 
ber, 1852,  by  youthful  J.  Macdonough  Foard  and  Rollin  M.  Daggett 
(see  Golden  Era:  Argonauts  of  Letters}.     Its  circulation  among  a  Gold 
Rush  populace,  starved  for  reading  matter,  grew  enormously.   A  "weekly 
family  paper,"  it  was  devoted  to  "Literature,  Agriculture,  The  Mining 
Interest,  Local  and  Foreign  News,  Commerce,  Education,  Morals,  and 
Amusements."     On  March  I,   1857,  appeared  a  poem  by  an  unknown 
author,  "The  Valentine" — first  preserved  published  work  of  Bret  Harte. 
Among  other  contributors  were   Ina   Coolbrith,   Thomas   Starr   King, 
Joaquin  Miller,  Mark  Twain,  and  Charles  Warren  Stoddard.     It  sur- 
vived nearly  four  decades.     Beneath  the  Era's  original  offices,  on  the 
ground    floor,    was   Vernon's    Hall,    rented    to    fraternal    societies    and 
theatrical  troupes;  today  it  houses  a  Chinese  broom  factory.     The  Eras 
old  rooms  are  now  artists'  studios. 

95.  Disguised  beneath  its  cream  stucco  finish  and  its  gay  red  and 
blue  canopies,  the  PIOCHE  AND  BAYERQUE  BUILDING,  SE. 
corner    Montgomery   and   Jackson    Sts.,    now   occupied    by   an    Italian 
restaurant,  is  the  same  structure  that  was  erected  in  1853  by  the  pioneer 
merchants  and  bankers,  F.  L.  A.  Pioche  and  J.  B.  Bayerque.     It  stands 
on  the  SITE  OF  THE  FIRST  BRIDGE,  a  sturdy  wooden  structure — the 
town's    first    public    improvement — which    alcalde    William     Sturgis 
Hinckley  constructed  in  1844,  oyer  the  long-vanished  slough  connecting 
the  Laguna   Salada    (Sp.,   salty  lagoon)    with   the   Bay,   thus  enabling 


214      SAN     FRANCISCO 

people  to  cross  to  Clarke's  Point.  In  the  Pioche  and  Bayerque  Building 
were  housed  the  offices  of  the  city's  first  street  railroad,  of  which  both 
Pioche  and  Bayerque  were  directors.  Horses  drew  the  first  car  up 
Market  Street  on  July  4,  1860  (soon  replaced  by  steam). 

96.  Not  since  1857  has  the  LUCAS,  TURNER  AND  COM- 
PANY BANK  BUILDING,  NE.  corner  Montgomery  and  Jackson 
Sts.,  housed  banking  offices.     When  the  firm  of  Lucas,  Turner  and 
Company,  a  branch  of  a  St.  Louis  bank,  desired  property  on  which  to 
erect  its  own  building  in  1853,  William  Tecumseh  Sherman,  then  the 
resident  manager  and  a  partner  in  the  firm,  found  (he  later  wrote)  that 
"the  only  place  then  available  on  Montgomery  Street,  the  Wall  Street 
of  San  Francisco,  was  a  lot  .  .  .  60x62  feet  .  .  ."     For  this  he  paid 
$32,000,  then  contracted  for  "a  three-story  brick  building,  with  finished 
basement,   for  about  $50,000."     As  manager  of  the  new  institution, 
Sherman  was  overprudent.     He  refused  to  allow  the  occasional  over- 
drafts his  depositors  demanded  and  declined  to  grant  credit  except  on 
the  soundest  securities.    Finally  in  1857  the  bank  closed. 

W ' .  from  Montgomery  St.  on  Jackson  St.  to  Columbus  Ave.;  NW.  from 
Jackson  on  Columbus  to  Pacific  St.;  E.  from  Columbus  on  Pacific. 

97.  The   "Terrific    Street"   of   the    i89o's— that   block   of    Pacific 
Street,  SITE  OF  THE  BARBARY  COAST,  running  east  from  the 
once-famous   "Seven    Points"   where    Pacific,    Columbus   Avenue,    and 
Kearny  Street  intersect — is  set  off  now  at  each  end  by  concrete  arches 
labelled    "INTERNATIONAL    SETTLEMENT."      As    Barbary 
Coast  it  was  known  round  the  world  for  half  a  century,  more  notorious 
than  London's  Limehouse,  Marseilles'  water  front,  or  Port  Said's  Arab 
Town.     The  enterprise  of  Pierino  Gavello,  restaurateur  and  capitalist, 
is  today's  "International  Settlement,"  developed  in   1939,  streamlined 
with  the  stucco  facades  and  gleaming  windows.    Where  gambling  halls, 
saloons,  beer  dens,  dance  halls,  and  brothels  once  crowded  side  by  side, 
a  Chinese  restaurant,  a  night  club  and  cocktail  bar,  a  Latin  American 
cafe,  and  an  antique  shop  now  appear. 

One  resort  of  the  old  "Coast"  remains  in  business — TAR'S,  592 
Pacific  St.,  the  former  Parente's  saloon  (newly  painted  and  decorated), 
whose  walls  are  still  plastered  from  floor  to  ceiling  with  Parente's 
famous  collection  of  prize-fight  pictures — including  champions  from 
James  Figg,  bare-knuckle  artist  of  1719,  to  Joe  Louis,  1940  title  holder. 

"Give  it  a  wide  berth,  as  you  value  your  life,"  warned  the  New 
Overland  Tourist  of  Barbary  Coast  in  1878,  describing  "the  precise 
locality,  so  that  our  readers  may  keep  away."  Since  the  i86o's  it  had 
worn  the  name  Barbary  Coast,  derived  probably  from  sailors'  memories 
of  the  dives  of  North  Africa.  But  even  in  the  early  i85o's,  when  the 


LANDMARKS     OF     THE     OLD     TOWN      215 

neighborhood  was  Sydney  Town,  inhabited  by  Australian  outlaws 
known  as  "Sydney  Ducks,"  the  "upper  part  of  Pacific  Street,  after 
dark" — reported  the  San  Francisco  Herald — "was  crowded  by  thieves, 
gamblers,  low  women,  drunken  sailors  and  similar  characters  .  .  .' 
The  block  bounded  by  Kearny,  Montgomery,  and  Broadway  was  known 
as  Devil's  Acre,  and  its  Kearny  Street  side  as  Battle  Row  (here  stood 
the  Slaughterhouse,  later  renamed  the  Morgue).  The  district  con- 
tributed a  new  word,  "hoodlum,"  applying  it  to  the  young  ruffians  who 
roamed  the  "Coast"  armed  with  bludgeons,  knives,  or  iron  knuckles  (it 
is  thought  that  the  word  comes  from  "huddle  'em!"  the  cry  of  the  boys 
as  they  advanced  on  a  victim).  So  too  the  expression  "to  shanghai" 
originated  here. 

The  employment  of  women  in  the  "Coast's"  resorts  was  strictly 
forbidden  by  law  as  early  as  1869,  but  the  "Coast"  paid  no  heed. 
Besides  the  brothels  of  three  types — cribs,  cow-yards,  and  parlor  houses, 
all  advertised  by  red  lights  and  some  even  by  signboards — the  district 
contained  call  houses,  cheap  lodgings  patronized  by  street-walkers, 
bagnios  over  saloons  and  dance-halls,  where  variety  show  performers 
entertained  between  acts.  Among  the  most  renowned  of  the  "Coast's" 
attractions  in  the  1870*5  were  the  "Little  Lost  Chicken,"  a  diminutive 
girl  who  concluded  her  songs  by  bursting  into  tears  (and  picked  the 
pockets  of  her  admirers)  ;  the  "Waddling  Duck,"  an  immensely  fat 
woman;  "Lady  Jane  Grey,"  who  decked  herself  in  a  cardboard  coronet, 
convinced  she  was  of  noble  birth ;  the  "Dancing  Heifer"  and  the  "Gal- 
loping Cow,"  whose  sister  act  made  the  boards  of  the  stage  creak. 
"Cowboy  Maggie"  Kelly,  a  large  blond  known  as  "The  Queen  of  the 
Barbary  Coast,"  was  proprietress,  and  bouncer,  of  the  Cowboy's  Rest. 

Wiped  out  in  1906,  the  Barbary  Coast  was  revived  for  another 
decade  of  gaudy  life.  "The  quarter  did  what  every  courtesan  does  who 
finds  her  charms  and  her  following  on  the  wane,"  wrote  Charles  Cald- 
well  Dobie.  "It  decided  to  capitalize  its  previous  reputation,  buy  a  new 
false  front  and  an  extra  pot  of  rouge.  The  result  was  a  tough  quarter 
maintained  largely  for  the  purpose  of  shocking  tourists  from  the  Chatau- 
qua  circuit."  Almost  every  dance  hall  put  on  a  good  show  for  the 
benefit  of  gaping  visitors  in  "slummers'  galleries."  "Take  me  to  see  the 
Barbary  Coast,"  said  John  Masefield — and  he  was  taken,  as  was  nearly 
every  other  visiting  celebrity,  including  Sarah  Bernhardt  and  Anna 
Pavlowa. 

"The  most  famous,  as  well  as  the  most  infamous"  of  the  resorts, 
reminisced  photographer  Arnold  Genthe,  "was  the  Olympia,  a  vast 
'palace'  of  gilt  and  tinsel  with  a  great  circular  space  in  the  center  and 
around  it  a  raised  platform  with  booths  for  spectators  .  .  .  Below  us 
on  the  floor  ...  a  medley  of  degenerate  humanity  whirled  around  us 
in  weird  dance  steps."  Of  the  same  description  was  the  Midway  (down- 


2l6      SAN     FRANCISCO 

stairs  at  587  Pacific  Street) — a  training  ground  for  vaudeville  acts — its 
walls  decorated  with  large  murals  by  an  unknown  Italian  artist. 

The  Seattle  Concert  Hall  (574  Pacific  Street),  later  known  as 
Spider  Kelly's,  first  important  resort  to  reopen  after  the  fire,  won  local 
fame  for  its  "key  racket."  On  the  promise  of  keeping  a  rendezvous 
after  work,  the  dance-hall  girls  sold,  for  five  dollars,  the  keys  to  their 
rooms;  the  dupes  wandered  about  until  morning,  vainly  seeking  doors 
their  keys  would  fit.  The  "slummers'  gallery"  of  the  Hippodrome 
(570  Pacific  Street)  was  crowded  nightly  by  visitors.  Chief  claim  to 
fame  of  the  Moulin  Rouge  (540  Pacific  Street)  were  Arthur  Putnam's 
sculptured  panels  on  its  facade,  depicting  figures  of  complete  nudity 
until  churchwomen  forced  the  sculptor  to  drape  the  ladies. 

No  resort  was  better-known  than  Lew  Purcell's  So  Different  Saloon 
(520  Pacific  Street),  a  Negro  dance  hall,  where  the  "Turkey  Trot"  is 
said  to  have  originated.  The  Thalia  (5141/2  Pacific  Street),  on  whose 
immense  rectangular  floor  the  "Texas  Tommy"  was  first  danced,  lured 
patrons  with  a  sidewalk  band  concert  every  evening.  The  Thalia's 
piece  de  resistance  was  hootclty-kootchy  dancer  Eva  Rowland. 

But  the  Barbary  Coast's  assets  as  a  tourist  attraction  did  not  out- 
weigh its  liabilities  as  a  crime  center.  The  Police  Commission's  revoca- 
tion of  dance-hall  licenses  in  1913  was  a  hard  blow,  but  the  "Coast" 
recovered,  and  two  years  later  licenses  had  to  be  revoked  again.  The 
Thalia  went  on  operating  as  a  dancing  academy.  Once  more  liquor 
permits  were  cancelled.  As  late  as  1921,  Police  Chief  Daniel  J.  O'Brien 
thought  it  necessary  to  forbid  slumming  parties  in  the  area — but  the 
Barbary  Coast  was  dead. 

S.  from  Pacific  St.  on  Montgomery  St.  to  Jackson  St.;  E.  fro?n  Mont- 
gomery on  Jackson. 

98.  Once  noted  for  its  paintings  and  well-stocked  library,  the  iron- 
shuttered   HOTALING   BUILDING,    SE.   corner   Jackson    St.   and 
Hotaling  PL,  housed  the  warehouses  and  stables  of  the  Hotaling  dis- 
tillery.    Narrow  Hotaling  Place,  running  south  to  Washington  Street, 
was  known  as  Jones'  Alley  between    1847   a°d    1910.      Loaded   drays 
rumbled    over    the    planked    street    to    the    Broadway    wharf;    heavily 
guarded  express  coaches  of  the  Wells  Fargo  and  Company  bore  their 
cargoes  to  sailing  ships;  and  under  the  dim  gaslights  silk-hatted  dandies 
waited   in   hansom   cabs   for   the   beauties   from   the    Melodeon.      The 
Hotaling  Building  survived  the  fire  of   1906  almost  unscathed. 

99.  The  hulls  of  abandoned  ships  were  piled  into  the  mud  flats  of 
Jackson  Slough  to  make  solid  footing  for  the  three-story  brick  PHOE- 
NIX BUILDING,  SW.  corner  Jackson  and  Sansome  Sts.,  which  from 
1858  to  1895  housed  the  factory  of  Domingo  Ghirardelli,  pioneer  choco- 


LANDMARKS     OF     THE     OLD     TOWN      217 

late  manufacturer  (see  Rim  of  the  Golden  Gate).  Survivor  of  the 
1906  fire,  it  hides  its  smoked  and  weathered  facade  under  a  thick  coat 
of  buff  paint. 


S.  from  Jackson  St.  on  Sansome  St. 

100.  Reared  from  the  mud  on  a  brick  and  pile  foundation,  GOV- 
ERNMENT HOUSE,  NW.  corner  Sansome  and  Washington  Sts., 
was  constructed  some  time  before  1853,  when  it  was  known  as  Armory 
Hall.     The  Golden  Era  in  February  of  that  year  carried  an  advertise- 
ment of  "Buckley's  Original  New  Orleans  Serenaders."     Known  there- 
after as  the  Olympic  Theater,  the  hall  led,  according  to  the  Annals  of 
San  Francisco,  "a  brief  and  sickly  existence."    After  1860,  the  building 
appeared  in  city  directories  as  the  "Government  House  Lodgings."    For 
a  time  Adolph  Sutro  lived  in  one  of  its  furnished  rooms. 

Still  illuminated  by  gas,  Government  House  shows  its  age.  The 
first  floor  was  forced  underground  when  Sansome  Street  was  regraded 
early  in  the  present  century ;  its  basement  rooms  are  now  entered  through 
narrow  stairways  leading  from  iron  trap  doors  in  the  sidewalk.  Shorn 
of  its  once  ornate  cornices,  which  began  to  crumble,  the  facade  is  shabby, 
its  faded  green  paint  and  grey  plaster  cracked  and  peeling. 

The  oldest  drugstore  in  the  city,  ALEXANDER  McBoYLE  AND 
COMPANY,  still  housed  on  the  ground  floor  of  Government  House,  was 
opened  in  1866.  McBoyle,  although  not  a  dentist,  managed  to  fill  a 
window  of  his  curious  shop  waist-deep  with  the  extracted  teeth  of  sea- 
farers. Grateful  seamen  repaid  with  curios  and  treasures  from  other 
lands  and  with  ship  models,  painstakingly  carved  and  fitted.  While 
other  druggists  beckoned  to  the  public  with  green  and  red  globes,  Mc- 
Boyle drew  three  times  the  trade  with  a  display  of  model  ships  sailing 
in  the  sea  of  teeth.  He  compounded  for  years  the  bulk  of  medicines 
shipped  to  the  Orient.  The  present  owners  have  retained  a  few  faded 
pictures  of  sailing  ships,  and  they  sell  Alexander  McBoyle's  "Abolition 
Oil,"  to  alleviate  sprains  and  bruises,  mixed  according  to  the  original 
formula. 

101.  Oldest  structure  still  used  by  the  Federal  Government  in  San 
Francisco  is  the  five-story  brick  and  wrought-iron  UNITED  STATES 
APPRAISERS  BUILDING,  Sansome,  Jackson,  and  Washington  Sts., 
erected   (1874-81)   as  one  of  the  Army  Engineer  Corps'  most  boasted 
construction  achievements.     Here,  until  after  1850,  the  tides  lapped  at 
the  narrow  row  of  piles  marking  the  line  of  present  Sansome  Street. 
"Upon  the  head  of  these  piles,"  recalled  Barry  and  Patten,  "was  nailed 
a  narrow  plank  walk  .  .  .  without  rail  or  protection  of  any  kind  ... 
pedestrians  passed  and  repassed  in  the  dark,  foggy  nights,  singing  and 


2l8      SAN     FRANCISCO 

rollicking,  as  unconcernedly  as  if  their  path  was  broad  Market 
Street  .  .  ." 

On  piles  projecting  eastward  from  what  is  now  the  corner  of  San- 
some  and  Washington  streets  stood  the  wooden  shanty  where  in  August, 
1850,  Pedar  Sather  and  Edward  W.  Church — joined  nine  months  later 
by  Francis  M.  Drexel  of  Philadelphia — opened  a  bank.  When  fire 
destroyed  the  structure,  their  safe  fell  into  the  water;  it  was  fished  up, 
however,  and  installed  in  a  new  building  at  the  end  of  Long  Wharf. 
(The  only  bank  in  the  city  founded  as  early  as  1850  to  see  the  twentieth 
century,  it  was  reorganized  in  1897  as  tne  San  Francisco  National  Bank 
and  finally  absorbed  by  the  Bank  of  California  in  1920.) 

Into  the  blue  mud  of  the  old  cove  bottom,  Army  engineers  in  1874 
began  driving  8o-foot  piles,  over  which  they  laid  a  seven-foot  thickness 
of  "rip-rapped"  concrete.  On  this  foundation  they  erected  the  three- 
foot-thick  walls  of  the  Appraisers  Building.  The  roof,  fabricated  of 
wrought  iron  in  the  manner  of  a  truss  bridge,  rested  on  the  outside 
walls,  supporting  a  heavy  slate  covering.  The  90  offices  had  hardwood 
doors  and  bronze  hardware.  The  hydraulic  elevator  with  ornately 
carved  cage,  installed  in  1878,  the  first  passenger  elevator  on  the  Pacific 
Coast,  is  still  in  use. 

Having  survived  the  1906  earthquake,  the  building  was  threatened 
by  the  fire  but  saved  by  the  Navy.  From  two  tugs  anchored  below 
Washington  Street,  sea  water  was  pumped  through  fire  lines  to  save  the 
old  structure.  In  1909,  mud  began  to  ooze  from  beneath  its  founda- 
tions into  a  sewer  excavation  along  Sansome  Street;  the  southwest 
corner  sank  1 1  inches,  but  the  structure  remained  intact. 

In  the  Appraisers  Building,  dutiable  imports  were  appraised  and 
stored  for  payment  of  duty  until  1940,  when  the  structure  was  ordered 
razed  to  make  way  for  a  new  1 5-story  building. 

E.  from  Sansome  St.  on  Washington  St.  to  Battery  St.;  N.  from  Wash- 
ington on  Battery. 

102.  The  UNITED  STATES  CUSTOMHOUSE  (open 
9-4:30),  Battery,  Washington,  and  Jackson  Sts.,  has  occupied  this  site 
for  more  than  75  years;  but  the  block-long,  five-story  edifice  of  Raymond 
granite,  its  interior  resplendent  with  marble  and  oak,  erected  (1906-11) 
at  a  cost  of  $1,600,000,  is  a  far  cry  from  the  three-story  customhouse 
and  post  office,  built  of  cement-plastered  brick  in  1854,  which  stood 
here  until  1903.  The  town's  first  customhouse  on  the  Plaza  was  aban- 
doned in  1849;  it  survived — its  porch  railings  carved  by  the  jacknives 
of  Yankee  newcomers — until  1851,  outlasting  the  second,  William 
Heath  Davis'  four-story  structure  with  its  white-painted  balconies,  to 
which  the  collector  of  the  port  had  removed  his  offices. 


LANDMARKS     OF     THE     OLD     TOWN       2IQ 

From  the  ruins  of  this  second  customhouse,  nearly  $1,000,000  in 
specie  was  rescued  from  a  large  safe,  which  had  preserved  it  from  the 
flames.  The  removal  of  the  treasure  by  the  collector  of  the  customs,  T. 
Butler  King,  "created  some  little  excitement  and  much  laughter,"  as  the 
Annals  of  San  Francisco  reported.  "Some  thirty  gigantic,  thick-bearded 
fellows,  who  were  armed  with  carbines,  revolvers  and  sabres,  surrounded 
the  cars  containing  the  specie,  while  the  Honorable  T.  Butler  King 
stood  aloft  on  a  pile  of  ruins  with  a  huge  'Colt'  in  one  hand  and  a 
bludgeon  in  the  other  .  .  .  The  extraordinary  procession  proceeded 
slowly  .  .  .  Mr.  King  marching,  like  a  proud  drum-major,  at  the  head 
.  .  .  peals  of  laughter  and  cries  of  ironical  applause  accompanied  the 
brave  defenders  of  'Uncle  Sam's'  interests  to  the  end  of  their  perilous 
march.  ,  ,  ." 


Chinatown 


"Wherever,  in  any  channel  of  the  Seven  Seas,  two  world-wan- 
derers met  and  talked  about  the  City  of  Many  Adventures,  China- 
town ran  like  a  thread  through  their  reminiscences." 

— WILL  IRWIN 


A  QUARTER  of  old  Canton,  transplanted  and  transformed, 
neither  quite  oriental  nor  wholly  occidental,  San  Francisco's 
Chinatown  yields  to  the  ways  of  the  West  while  continuing  to 
venerate  a  native  civilization  as  ancient  as  the  Pyramids.  Grant  Ave- 
nue, its  main  thoroughfare,  leads  northward  from  Bush  Street  through 
a  veritable  city-within-a-city — alien  in  appearance  to  all  the  rest  of  San 
Francisco — hemmed  within  boundaries  kept  by  tacit  agreement  with 
municipal  authorities  for  almost  a  century. 

Chinatown  enjoys  a  measure  of  civil  autonomy  unique  among  San 
Francisco's  foreign  sections.  Though  police  protection,  public  education, 
and  public  health  are  directed  by  municipal  authorities,  local  affairs  are 
controlled  largely  by  the  powerful  Chinese  Six  Companies.  Labor  rela- 
tions, family  regulation,  traditional  customs,  and  commercial  activities 
are  the  province  of  this  unusual  body. 

Along  Grant  Avenue  bright  display  windows,  neon  signs,  and  glazed 
tile  form  a  foreground  wholly  modern  for  merchandise  which  conforms 
to  the  age-old  pattern  of  China's  craftsmen.  The  street's  smart  cocktail 
lounges  defy  ancestral  gods  by  adding  American  swing  to  the  induce- 
ments of  oriental  atmosphere  and  native  waitresses  in  brocaded  gowns; 
its  fashionable  cafes,  while  they  serve  genuine  native  foods,  advertise 
more  familiar  dishes.  Beneath  the  pagoda-like  cornices,  electric  chop 
suey  signs  perpetuate  the  popular  notion  that  this  dish,  imported  from 
the  Atlantic  seaboard,  is  something  more  exotic  than  its  name — the 
Chinese  word  for  hash — indicates.  Side  by  side  with  curio  shops  offer- 
ing inexpensive  articles  of  oriental  design  are  bazaars,  wherein  the 
discerning  may  buy  objects  genuine  and  costly.  Within  recent  years, 
however,  many  sources  of  supply  have  been  cut  off  by  the  Japanese 
occupation  of  China.  Scattered  along  Grant  Avenue  also  are  Japanese- 
owned  shops  that  sell  goods  manufactured  in  Japan. 

Grant  Avenue's  commercial  area  is  only  the  bland  and  somewhat 
cynical  face  the  settlement  turns  to  the  world.  More  oriental  are  the 
avenue's  northern  reaches  and  the  streets  that  run  crosswise  from  Nob 
Hill  to  Chinatown's  eastern  boundary,  Kearny  Street.  Along  these 
congested  sidewalks,  among  cheap  shops  and  restaurants,  are  the  market 

220 


CHINATOWN      221 

places  whose  distinctive  sounds  and  odors  give  Chinatown  its  atmosphere 
of  the  unchanging  East.  A  curious  bazaar  of  foodstuffs  are  the  poultry 
markets,  the  displays  of  dried  and  pickled  fish,  and  the  odoriferous  tubs 
of  snails  along  the  curbstones.  Roast  ducks  packed  in  rice ;  roast  ducks 
from  Canton,  glazed  with  a  salty  wax — many  of  them  flattened  as  if 
starched  and  ironed — hang  in  golden  rows  in  grocery  stores ;  and  beside 
them  are  whole  hogs — steaming  hot  from  the  barbecue  pits — from  which 
portions  are  cut  and  sent  to  Chinatown's  dinner  tables.  Eels  and  octopi, 
shark,  and  other  unusual  sea  foods  are  displayed  in  the  many  fish  mar- 
kets. Bakery  windows  are  crowded  with  cakes  of  almost  limitless 
variety,  of  which  even  the  most  common  are  decorative  and  of  evasive 
flavor.  The  vegetables  of  Chinatown  are  a  marvel  to  the  stranger: 
string  beans  slender  as  blades  of  grass  and  12  to  14  inches  long;  peas 
with  sweet,  tender  edible  pods;  and  many  Chinese  greens.  Bitter  melons 
to  be  added  to  soups,  fuzzy  melons  resembling  cactus  fruit,  bamboo 
shoots,  bean  sprouts,  and  lotus  roots  hang  festooned  in  market  windows. 
The  artistry  of  the  oriental  cook  is  nowhere  in  the  Western  world 
better  demonstrated  than  in  San  Francisco's  Chinatown.  In  the  numer- 
ous and  inexpensive  little  Chinese  restaurants  that  crowd  the  slopes  of 
Jackson,  Clay,  and  Washington  streets  above  and  below  Grant  Avenue, 
the  occidental  dines  with  relish  on  the  meats  and  vegetables  he  has  looked 
upon  with  disfavor  in  the  markets  around  the  corner. 

About  half  Chinatown's  population  of  16,000  are  immigrants  from 
the  mother  country,  many  of  whom  still  cling  to  the  ancient  customs 
and  ancestral  religion.  Amid  the  modern  throng  appear  in  diminishing 
number  those  who  still  conform  to  the  age-old  styles  of  dress.  Little  old 
women  pass  by,  their  shiny  black  hair  brushed  tightly  back  and  knotted, 
their  black  pantaloons  showing  beneath  black  gowns;  and  benign  old 
men  in  loose  jackets  and  black  skullcaps.  The  upper-class  women  of 
the  old  generation  reveal  their  bound  feet — the  "golden  lilies"  of  Chinese 
literature — beneath  the  long  narrow  native  costume  covered  by  a  coat 
of  American  make.  Upon  rare  occasions,  dignified  Chinese  gentlemen 
gracefully  thread  their  way  through  the  crowded  streets  in  elegant 
custom-tailored  attire,  leisurely  wielding  fans. 

Young  Chinatown  preserves  its  language  and  the  more  democratic 
of  its  national  customs,  while  adopting  the  dress,  the  slang,  and  the 
commercial  methods  of  its  American  compatriots.  Grant  Avenue  is  its 
creation.  The  shops  of  its  elders,  where  the  abacus  is  still  used  for 
calculation,  are  being  forced  to  the  side-streets.  Even  the  little  wall- 
shops,  where  for  generations  dreamy-eyed  old  men  sitting  in  the  sun 
have  reluctantly  bestirred  themselves  to  sell  occasional  bags  of  candied 
melon,  ginger,  or  lichee  nuts,  are  being  taken  over  by  alert  youngsters, 
who  have  stocked  these  narrow  tables  and  outdoor  shelves  with  souvenirs 
for  the  tourist. 


222      SAN     FRANCISCO 

The  children  of  Chinatown,  most  modern  element  of  all,  are  benefit- 
ing most  by  the  inroads  of  the  West.  Education  is  one  of  the  colony's 
primary  interests.  Besides  its  regular  public  grade  school,  Chinatown 
has  a  dozen  or  more  public  and  private  schools.  The  children,  expert 
negotiators  of  traffic,  scamper  in  small  bands  from  sidewalk  to  sidewalk 
on  shopping  tours  for  their  parents.  Children  of  the  poorer  families 
swarm  the  sidewalks  nightly,  armed  with  shoe-shine  kits.  Many  of  the 
older  boys  spend  their  evenings  at  the  Chinese  Y.M.C.A. ;  and  many  of 
the  girls  (whose  families  allow  them  to  accept  modern  ways),  at  the 
Y.W.C.A.  Chinese  youth  of  both  sexes  frequent  the  various  family 
clubs.  Fong-Fong's  on  Grant  Avenue  (a  soda  fountain,  lunchroom, 
and  bakery)  is  a  widely  patronized  "Joe-College"  hangout. 

Old  Chinatown  watches  with  silent  disapproval  the  departure  of  its 
youth  and  its  children  from  the  ancient  customs,  brought  here  from 
Canton  and  preserved  inviolate  for  three-quarters  of  a  century.  And 
Chinatown's  elders  still  maintain  customs  of  oriental  feudalism,  long 
since  abandoned  throughout  China. 

Though  practically  every  religion  has  built  churches  and  gained 
adherents  here,  the  native  Chinese  temples,  or  joss  houses,  are  still 
centers  of  Chinatown's  spiritual  life.  (The  word  "joss"  is  a  corruption 
of  Diosj  Portuguese  word  for  God,  which  the  Cantonese  learned  from 
early  Portuguese  traders  at  Macao.)  Many  of  the  furnishings  have  a 
history  intimately  associated  with  the  Chinese  immigration,  during  the 
Gold  Rush,  to  this  land  they  called  Gum  Sahn  (Golden  Hills). 

Barometers  of  public  sentiment  in  Chinatown  are  the  sidewalk 
bulletins  before  the  shops  of  its  five  newspapers.  If  the  oblong  strips  of 
Chinese  characters  denote  light  news  of  local  interest,  a  lively  chattering 
ensues;  but  let  the  bulletins  be  of  more  serious  import,  concerned  per- 
haps with  events  in  their  embattled  homeland,  and  silence  settles  over 
the  groups  of  50  or  more,  as  each  man  reads  and  goes  his  way  without 
a  word  of  comment. 

The  one  ancient  festival  in  which  all  Chinatown  is  united  annually 
is  the  Chinese  New  Year,  celebrated — according  to  the  lunar  calendar 
and  the  ancient  philosophy  of  Tung-Fang-So — on  the  first  day  of  the 
new  moon  after  the  sun  enters  the  sign  of  Aquarius  (between  January 
20  and  February  20).  This  is  the  occasion  to  propitiate  the  gods  and 
banish  the  evil  spirits  abroad  each  Yuen  Tan  (New  Year's  Day).  It 
is  also  the  season  for  the  cancellation  of  debts,  during  which  failure  to 
meet  obligations  is  considered  a  confession  of  inability  to  do  so. 

The  first  day  of  the  new  year,  Yuen  Jih  (Day  of  Beginnings),  often 
is  called  the  "Three  Beginnings" — the  start  of  the  year,  of  the  month, 
and  of  the  season.  On  the  eve  of  Yuen  Jih,  joyous  throngs  crowd  the 
streets  of  Chinatpwn.  Gay  lanterns  sway  in  a  blue  haze  of  gunpowder 
smoke;  a  barrage  of  firecrackers  continues  far  into  the  night.  Houses 


CHINATOWN      223 

must  be  cleaned  thoroughly  before  midnight;  then  brooms  are  hidden 
until  dark  of  the  following  day — for  sweeping  during  the  ensuing  day- 
light hours  brushes  all  luck  out  of  the  house  for  the  entire  year.  No 
one  sleeps  on  New  Year's  Eve;  even  the  youngest  children  are  awake 
until  two  or  three  o'clock  in  the  morning.  Incense  burns  throughout 
the  colony  to  invite  the  good  spirits. 

The  only  food  served  on  this  birthday  of  Confucius  is  gai  gum  choy, 
a  meatless  stew  eaten  after  one  o'clock  in  the  morning  of  the  Day  of 
Beginnings,  and  oranges,  which  have  been  arranged  in  perfect  pyramids 
for  days  in  anticipation.  Throughout  New  Year  week  the  children  of 
the  household  will  be  unusually  dutiful,  for  this  is  the  season  of  the  "red 
package."  These  packages,  wrapped  in  red  paper  and  containing  silver 
coins,  all  unmarried  children — regardless  of  age — are  entitled  to  receive 
from  each  visitor  to  the  home. 

On  the  second  day  of  the  new  year,  as  on  the  first,  no  meat  is  served, 
for  this  day  is  dedicated  to  worship  of  Ta'ai  Shen  (God  of  Wealth). 
But  from  the  third  day  onward,  feasting  and  merrymaking  are  un- 
restrained, as  pastries,  sweet  cakes,  and  candies  are  set  out  to  satisfy  the 
proverbial  Kitchen  God  when  he  makes  his  annual  report  on  family 
behavior. 

The  festivities  end  usually  on  the  seventh  day  (Day  of  Human 
Beginnings)  with  the  Dance  of  the  Dragon.  Unless  events  worthy  of 
a  highly  spectacular  celebration  have  occurred  during  the  year,  the  Lion 
of  Buddha  substitutes  for  the  traditional  dragon.  The  lion  requires  but 
two  men  to  operate;  the  dragon,  trailing  innumerable  yards  of  tinsel 
and  colored  silk,  must  be  borne  along  Grant  Avenue  on  the  stooping 
shoulders  of  from  10  to  50  persons.  Since  its  first  appearance  here  in 
1850,  the  dragon  has  been  Chinatown's  official  protector.  Homes  and 
stores  are  decorated  with  green  vegetables  and  red  packages  to  attract 
his  attention,  for  where  he  dances  prosperity  remains  throughout  the 
year.  As  the  glittering  monster  weaves  his  way  from  sidewalk  to  side- 
walk, coins,  wrapped  in  lettuce  leaves  or  red  papers  and  suspended  from 
doors  and  windows  by  strings,  are  snatched  by  an  alert  hand  that  darts 
from  beneath  the  dragon's  gaping  jaws. 

Chinatown  today  is  the  Chinatown  that  was  rebuilt  after  1906;  the 
dim,  narrow  alleys  so  famed  in  melodrama  are  as  safe  now  as  brightly 
lighted  Grant  Avenue.  But  it  occupies  still  little  more  than  the  cramped 
space  in  which  the  Chinese  of  Gold  Rush  days  settled.  The  American 
brig  Eagle,  in  the  spring  of  1848,  brought  San  Francisco's  first  three 
Chinese  immigrants,  two  men  and  a  woman.  Clipper  ships  in  the  China 
trade  during  the  following  decade  brought  25,000  coolies  and  peasants 
from  Kwangtung  Province.  Eager  to  escape  the  famine  succeeding  the 
disastrous  Tai  Ping  rebellion,  and  lured  by  prospects  of  sudden  wealth, 
they  arrived  to  do  the  menial  work  of  the  Gold  Rush.  Though  many 


224      SAN     FRANCISCO 

went  to  the  mines,  the  majority  settled  in  San  Francisco.  Despite  the 
racial  hostility  they  faced,  they  early  became  sellers  of  wares  imported 
from  China,  peddlers  of  fresh  vegetables,  fishermen,  servants,  gamblers, 
and  real  estate  owners. 

As  the  Yankee  first  settlers,  following  the  expanding  water  front  in 
the  1850*5,  moved  down  the  slope  toward  Montgomery  Street,  the 
Chinese  inherited  their  abandoned  locations  adjoining  Portsmouth 
Square.  Because  of  their  value  as  laborers  in  the  boom  years  when 
white  labor  was  at  a  premium,  they  were  allowed  to  entrench  themselves 
in  what  was  known  to  be  an  ideal  residential  district  sheltered  from 
wind  and  fog.  The  growing  commercial  district  below  Kearny  Street 
formed  the  colony's  eastern  barrier;  to  the  north  Pacific  Street's  course 
between  the  Presidio  and  the  water  front  was  a  natural  boundary ;  south 
of  California  Street,  almost  in  the  shadow  of  Old  St.  Mary's  Church, 
was  a  white  demi-monde  dominated  by  French  prostitutes;  along  the 
higher  slope  of  what  is  now  Nob  Hill,  Stockton  Street's  respectable 
residential  quarter  forbade  encroachment  farther  west.  Destroyed  by 
the  successive  conflagrations  of  the  iSso's  and  i86o's,  Chinatown  rose 
repeatedly  on  old  foundations  that  no  sufficient  majority  of  San  Fran- 
ciscans cared  to  reclaim. 

Old  Chinatown  had  neither  the  native  architecture  nor  the  glitter 
of  lights  characteristic  of  its  streets  today.  Dim  lanterns,  hung  on  the 
iron  balconies  of  tenements,  furnished  by  night  the  only  illumination, 
until  gaslights  brought  their  flickering  radiance.  Overcrowding  com- 
pelled the  Chinese  to  enlarge  their  quarters  with  cellars  which  were  to 
add  many  a  legend  to  the  colony's  ill  repute.  Even  before  its  traffic  in 
vice  and  its  tong  wars  reached  the  alarming  proportions  of  the  iSyo's, 
i88o's,  and  1890*5,  Chinatown  was  a  stage  set  for  criminal  drama — a 
place  of  eerie  shadows  and  flitting  figures,  of  blind  alleys  and  obscure 
passageways,  of  quiet  stabbings  and  casual  gunfire. 

Subjected  to  increasing  racial  discrimination,  the  Chinese  inherited 
the  full  measure  of  stigma  that  had  been  visited  only  incidentally  upon 
the  Hounds  and  Sydney  Coves.  When,  during  the  building  of  the 
Central  Pacific  Railroad,  additional  thousands  were  imported  by  the 
Big  Four  to  swell  the  already  unwelcome  horde  of  competitors  with 
white  labor,  "Crocker's  pets"  became  the  objects  of  abuse  throughout 
California.  Dennis  Kearney's  sand-lot  Workingmen's  Party  drove  the 
hapless  orientals  from  factories,  burned  their  laundries,  and  threatened 
their  white  employers  with  violence. 

The  resulting  Chinese  Exclusion  Act  of  1882  made  no  provision, 
however,  for  deportation  of  Chinese  lawfully  within  the  country;  and 
San  Francisco's  "Little  China"  remained  to  outlive  half  a  century  of 
agitation  against  .it.  But  the  exclusion  of  orientals  from  their  former 
respectable  pursuits  made  them  more  than  ever  the  prey  of  criminal 


CHINATOWN       225 

elements.  From  the  bonanza  days  until  1906,  the  district  was  synony- 
mous with  the  Barbary  Coast.  The  two  decades  between  1906  and 
1927  (when  the  last  tong  war  occurred)  were  required  to  eliminate  its 
opium  dens,  its  vice  and  gambling  rackets,  and  its  menace  to  public 
health. 

The  municipal  czardoms  of  "Blind  Chris"  Buckley  and  Abe  Ruef 
subjected  Chinatown  to  domination  by  their  oriental  henchman,  Fong 
Chong — better  known  as  "Little  Pete" — and  his  blackmailing  society, 
Gi  Sin  Seer.  Little  Pete  operated  in  a  Chinatown  where  rival  tongs 
fought  over  the  profits  of  a  vice  traffic  as  old  as  the  colony  itself.  In  its 
most  flourishing  days,  thousands  of  slave  girls  with  bound  feet  were 
crowded  into  brothels  along  Grant  Avenue — then  the  notorious  Dupont 
Street — and  adjacent  alleys.  The  bloodiest  of  the  tong  feuds,  lasting  7 
years  and  costing  60  lives,  was  fought  over  "Lily-Foot"  Wan  Len, 
queen  of  the  slave  girls.  It  was  Little  Pete's  Gi  Sin  Seer  and  a  rival 
outfit  of  similar  hired  assassins,  Bo  Sin  Seer,  which  finally  settled  the 
enmities  of  this  oriental  underworld  and  opened  the  way  for  China- 
town's modern  phase. 

For  his  bribing  activities  in  the  case  of  Lee  Chuck,  one  of  his 
hatchetmen  whose  ready  six-shooter  sent  a  rival  sprawling  in  Spofford 
Alley,  Little  Pete  served  five  years  in  San  Quentin  Penitentiary.  Once 
back  in  his  old  haunts,  he  began  extending  his  activities  beyond  the 
confines  of  Chinatown.  His  gang  cleaned  up  $100,000  in  a  racetrack 
swindle,  which  made  enemies  who  swore  to  get  him  the  instant  he 
should  appear  without  his  usual  bodyguard  of  white  men.  Their  chance 
came  in  January,  1897.  Impatient  to  learn  the  latest  racetrack  results, 
Little  Pete  entered  a  Waverley  Place  barber  shop  without  his  body- 
guard and  paused  to  have  his  forehead  shaved,  his  queue  plaited,  and 
his  ears  cleaned  of  wax.  Then,  "Two  figures  as  swift  and  black  as 
crows  dart  from  nowhere  into  the  doorway.  There  is  a  crackle  of 
sound  like  the  sputtering  of  a  string  of  firecrackers  ushering  in  the  New 
Year:  Little  Pete  falls  forward  in  a  crimson  pool  .  .  ." 

In  true  gangster  tradition,  Little  Pete's  cohorts  attempted  to  give 
him  a  magnificent  funeral.  After  two  hours  of  intricate  last  rites, 
performed  by  four  priests  from  his  favorite  joss  house,  his  casket  was 
placed  in  a  resplendent  hearse  drawn  by  six  black-draped  white  horses. 
Hired  mourners  preceded  the  hearse,  burning  joss  sticks  and  wildly 
beating  the  air  with  uplifted  arms.  From  a  carriage,  four  Chinese 
busily  tossed  out  bits  of  paper  punched  with  square  holes — to  confuse 
the  devils  seeking  to  make  off  with  the  spirit  of  the  departed.  The 
fantastic  cortege,  led  by  a  popular  orchestra  playing  the  funeral  march 
from  Saul,  proceeded  through  streets  lined  with  spectators  to  the  Chinese 
Cemetery  down  the  Peninsula.  Here  a  mob  of  onlookers — not  hood- 
lums, but  respectable  San  Franciscans  indignant  over  losing  bets  on  race 


226      SAN     FRANCISCO 

horses  doped  by  Pete's  henchmen — greeted  priests  and  mourners  with 
hoots  and  clods  of  earth.  The  Chinese  were  compelled  to  haul  the  coffin 
back  to  the  city  where,  at  the  old  Chinese  cemetery  Little  Pete's  remains 
were  interred  pending  arrangements  for  shipment  to  China.  The 
wagonloads  of  roast  pig,  duck,  cakes,  tea,  and  gin  left  beside  the  grave 
were  guzzled  by  the  crowd  of  white  onlookers. 

The  Chinatown  of  Little  Pete  and  his  rival  tongs  was  the  China- 
town that  shared  with  the  Barbary  Coast  a  worldwide  notoriety.  But 
always  there  was  the  sober,  industrious  Chinatown  of  respectable  mer- 
chants and  hard-working  coolies ;  of  ancient  native  customs  and  religion ; 
and  of  traditional  family  life.  Quietly  this  larger  element  was  accumu- 
lating wealth,  gradually  co-operating  with  the  Protestant  and  Catholic 
missions,  and — after  1906 — with  the  city's  police.  When  it  became 
necessary  to  erect  the  new  Chinatown  upon  the  charred  foundations  of 
the  old,  Chinese  capital  and  enterprise  accomplished  the  task  promptly 
and  with  good  taste.  The  colony's  southern  boundary  was  extended  to 
Bush  Street,  claiming  the  block  now  occupied  by  St.  Mary's  Square. 

The  last  three  decades  have  seen  varieus  improvements  on  the  dis- 
trict's sudden  reconstruction  after  1906.  But  not  until  recent  years  has 
its  past — assiduously  kept  alive  by  pulp  magazines  and  newspaper  supple- 
ments— been  lived  down.  Naive  visitors  still  expect  to  be  shown  opium 
dens  and  underground  passages.  The  new  Chinatown,  alert  and  pro- 
gressive, is  without  nostalgia  for  its  long  era  of  dirt  and  crime.  The 
second  largest  Chinese  settlement  outside  the  mother  country  ( Singapore 
has  the  largest),  it  prefers  its  modern  role  as  meeting  place  of  East  and 
West. 

POINTS  OF  INTEREST 

103.  The  red-brick  KONG  CHOW  TEMPLE  (suggested  visiting 
hours  6-10  p.m.),  520  Pine  St.,  is  entered  through  bright  red  doors 
opening  onto  the  Passageway  of  Peace,  a  bare  corridor  ending  in  a  blank 
wall — protection  against  evil  spirits,  who  travel  only  in  straight  lines. 
From  an  inner  courtyard,  stairs  lead  to  the  third-floor  sanctuary,  just 
beneath  the  green  double-tiered  oriental  roof — for  worship  of  the  an- 
cestral gods  permits  nothing  more  created  by  human  hands  to  be  above 
the  deities.  Decorating  the* room  are  richly  brocaded  silken  hangings 
and,  extending  its  full  breadth,  hand-made  wood  carvings  bearing 
stories  of  the  Six  Dynasties  (589-317  B.C.)  ;  the  upper  part  of  one,  a 
priceless,  glass-enclosed  work,  depicts  scenes  from  the  Court  of  the 
Dragon  King.  From  the  articles  of  divination  in  the  temple,  religious 
Chinese  determine  those  days  auspicious  for  instituting  business  ventures 
and  trips.  Strips  of  red  paper  in  the  temple  anteroom  record  the 
amounts  of  recent  contributions — heavily  swelled  on  such  special  occa- 


CHINATOWN      227 

sions  as  the  Day  for  Sweeping  the  Graves  and  the  Feast  Day  to 
Quan  Ti. 

Pioneer  Chinese  from  the  district  of  Kong  Chow  first  established 
their  temple  locally  in  1857;  arter  tne  buildings  of  the  Kong  Chow 
Association  (one  of  the  Chinese  Six  Companies)  were  dynamited  to 
check  the  fire  of  1906,  they  rebuilt  their  joss  house  here.  Rescued  from 
the  doomed  temple  was  the  figure  of  Kuan  Ti,  patron  deity  and  head 
of  the  17  gods  and  goddesses  of  the  temple,  now  enthroned  in  the 
reconstructed  shrine. 

104.  Where  the  soft  crunch  of  gravel  underfoot  or  the  snores  of  a 
drowsing  panhandler  disturbs  the  quiet  of  green-terraced  ST.  MARY'S 
SQUARE,  Pine,  Anne,  and  California  Sts.,  the  raucous  solicitations  of 
the  inmates  of  brothels  once  mingled  with  the  bark  of  rifles  in  shooting 
galleries  below,  and  American  and  British  sailors  met  periodically  for 
bouts  and  brawls.  But  the  little  park  was  not  always  so  bawdy.  In 
the  iSgo's,  the  women  of  San  Francisco  petitioned  the  city,  and  the 
prostitutes  were  removed  from  Dupont  Street  (Grant  Avenue)  to  the 
comparative  isolation  of  the  square  (hidden  from  Dupont  by  a  row  of 
business  establishments,  as  it  is  today).  Here  they  remained  for  several 
years  to  distress  the  Paulist  Fathers  of  Old  St.  Mary's,  who  faced  them 
across  California  Street.  In  1898,  the  Fathers  organized  the  St.  Mary's 
Association,  whose  purpose  was  to  remove  the  bagnios  and  have  the  area 
set  aside  as  a  park.  Between  1898  and  1904,  money  was  appropriated 
on  more  than  one  occasion  to  buy  the  property  for  the  city,  but  each 
time  County  Treasurer  Sam  Brooke  used  it  for  other  purposes.  A  series 
of  lawsuits  resulted  in  the  decision  in  1904  that  taxes  should  be  levied  to 
make  the  necessary  purchases;  but,  before  this  was  done,  the  fire  of 
1906  wiped  out  the  offending  red  light  area.  A  step  in  replanning  the 
city  was  the  creation  of  the  present  park. 

From  the  high  western  slope  of  the  square  a  STATUE  OF  SUN 
YAT-SEN  faces  the  East  toward  China.  The  1 2-foot  figure,  with  head 
and  hands  of  rose-red  granite,  wearing  a  long  robe  of  bright  stain- 
less steel,  was  created  by  sculptor  Beniamino  Bufano  under  the  sponsor- 
ship of  the  WPA's  Northern  California  Art  Project  (formerly  the 
Federal  Art  Project).  Dr.  Sun  Yat-sen  (1866-1925),  organizer  of  the 
Kuomintang — whose  local  branch  supplied  materials  for  the  memorial — 
visited  San  Francisco  on  several  occasions.  China's  present  (1940) 
president,  Lin  Sen,  in  1937  wrote  the  words  that  appear  on  the  steel 
disc  in  the  granite  base  of  the  monument:  "Father  of  the  Chinese 
Republic  and  First  President  .  .  .  Champion  of  Democracy  .  .  .  Pro- 
ponent of  Peace  and  Friendship  Among  Nations  .  .  ." 


228      SAN     FRANCISCO 

N.  from  Pine  St.  on  Anne  St.  to  California  St.;  W .  on  California. 

105.  The  construction  of  OLD  ST.  MARY'S  CHURCH,  NE. 
corner  Grant  Ave.  and  California  St.,  was  inaugurated  in    1853   by 
Archbishop  Joseph  Sadoc  Alemany,  and  at  midnight  Mass  on  Christmas 
Day,  1854,  the  edifice  was  dedicated  as  the  cathedral  seat  for  the  Roman 
Catholic  diocese  of  the  Pacific  Coast.     Until  completion  of  St.  Mary's 
Cathedral  in  1894,  Old  St.  Mary's  remained  the  most  powerful  strong- 
hold of  Catholicism  in  California  and  Nevada.     Respected  for  its  rich 
tradition  and  the  simple  dignity  of  its  services,  this  stately  old  structure 
for  the  last  45  years  has  been  the  parish  church  of  the  Paulist  Fathers. 

Old  St.  Mary's  stands  on  land  donated  by  pioneer  banker  John 
Sullivan,  whose  wife  (Catherine  Farrell  Sullivan)  lies  buried  in  the 
crypt  of  the  church.  Architects  Crane  and  England  are  thought  to  have 
modeled  the  purely  Gothic  structure  after  a  church  in  the  Spanish  birth- 
place of  Archbishop  Alemany.  Its  red  brick  and  ironwork  was  shipped 
around  the  Horn;  granite  brought  from  China  was  hoisted  into  place 
with  improvised  wooden  derricks  by  Chinese  workmen.  The  two  large 
clocks  in  the  9O-foot-high  square  Gothic  tower  were  long  the  community 
timepieces  of  early  San  Franciscans.  Beneath  the  frontal  dial  still 
appear  the  gold  letters  on  black  bronze,  whose  warning  was  intended  to 
put  the  fear  of  God  into  the  roisterers  of  Dupont  Street:  "Son  Observe 
the  Time  and  Fly  from  Evil."  As  early  as  1855,  an  angry  corre.- 
spondent  to  the  Alta  California  made  irreverent  protest  against  the 
booming  bell  of  Old  St.  Mary's:  "Those  who  want  their  sins  washed 
off  by  those  daily  ablutions  may  as  well  be  aroused  by  their  own  con- 
sciences, without  annoying  the  whole  neighborhood." 

Completely  gutted  by  the  fire  of  1906,  the  interior  of  the  church 
was  rebuilt  on  its  original  plan.  In  January,  1929,  the  basement  was 
remodeled  to  form  a  modern  auditorium,  Paulist  Hall ;  two  months 
later  a  five-story  structure  adjoining  St.  Mary's  on  the  north  was  razed 
and  the  church  building  extended  to  its  present  length  of  153  feet.  This 
latter  wing,  which  maintains  the  architectural  features  of  the  original 
(Edward  A.  Eames,  architect),  houses  the  PAULIST  CIRCULATING 
LIBRARY  (open  weekdays  n-6,  Sun.  10:30-1:30). 

Each  night  for  more  than  a  decade,  a  long  line  of  needy  migrants 
has  waited  patiently  at  the  side  entrance  to  Old  St.  Mary's  for  the  food 
and  lodging  tickets  supplied  them  by  the  Paulist  Fathers. 

N.  from  California  St.  on  Grant  Ave.  to  Sacramento  St.;  E.  on  Sacra- 
mento. 

106.  The  NOM  KU  SCHOOL  (open  5-8  p.m.},  765  Sacramento 
St.,  for  children  between  the  ages  of  6  and  15,  supplements  the  public 


CHINATOWN      229 

school  curriculum,  offering  a  purely  cultural  program  designed  to  foster 
Chinese  traditions  and  customs  in  American-born  Chinese.  No  com- 
mercial subject  is  taught;  emphasis  is  placed  on  Chinese  language, 
calligraphy,  literature,  history,  and  philosophy  (particularly  that  of 
Confucius). 

Built  in  1912  by  a  group  of  wealthy  Chinese,  the  school  building 
follows  the  official  courthouse  design  of  China.  A  pair  of  sacred  lions 
guard  the  set-back  upper  story.  High,  narrow  windows  in  many  small 
panels  give  myriad  light  reflections  to  the  interior,  whose  simple  teak- 
wood  furnishings  are  relieved  by  the  lavish  use  of  decorative  colors: 
vivid  green,  yellow,  red,  and  turquoise. 

107.  More  than  its  name  implies  is  the  CHINESE  CHAMBER 
OF  COMMERCE    (open  Mon.-Fri.   10-5,  Sat.   10-12),   730  Sacra- 
mento St.,  the  only  organization  of  its  kind  when  established  in  the 
i88o's.     In  addition  to  fostering  Chinese  business  and  commerce,  the 
organization  aids  in   solving  the  housing  problem   of   Chinese  in   San 
Francisco;  enlightens  its  countrymen  on  legal  matters;  and  aids  in  the 
liquidation  of  bankruptcies  of  Chinese  merchants  by  negotiation  rather 
than  by  court  procedure. 

The  Chamber  of  Commerce  has  assumed  commercial  arbitration 
over  matters  once  handled  by  the  Chinese  Six  Companies,  settling  dis- 
putes among  merchants  and  members  of  their  families,  and — rarely — • 
among  trade  organizations  (such  as  the  Jewelry  Guild  or  Laundry 
Workers  Association).  Since  establishment  of  a  similar  chamber  in 
New  York  in  1910,  this  bureau  no  longer  serves  Chinese  throughout 
the  United  States.  Executive  Secretary  Chee  Lowe,  educated  at  San 
Francisco  public  schools  and  the  University  of  California,  worked  for 
20  years  as  a  mining  engineer  in  China,  and  returned  to  San  Francisco 
in  1938. 

Retrace  on  Sacramento  St. 

1 08.  Outwardly  occidental  are  the  businesslike  offices  of  the  KUO- 
MINTANG  HEADQUARTERS  IN  AMERICA  (open  10-12,  2-4), 
827  Sacramento  St.,  from  which  are  supervised  the  activities  of  the  3 
regional  and  50  branch  offices  of  the  Chinese  Nationalist  Party  in  the 
United  States.     The  San  Francisco  headquarters  was  the  second  estab- 
lished outside  China   (the  first  was  in  Honolulu).     Party  activities  in 
this  country  (according  to  National  Chairman  Dr.  K.  D.  Lum)  consist 
of  establishing  good  will  between  the  people  of  the  United  States  and 
the  people  of  China  and  sponsoring  the  spread  of  the  democratic  idea  by 
following  the   principles  laid   down   by   Sun  Yat-sen.     The  Western 
Regional  Office  of  the  Kuomintang,  with  jurisdiction  over  branches  in 


23O      SAN     FRANCISCO 

California,  Nevada,  and  Utah,  also  is  located  in  San  Francisco   (846 
Stockton  St.). 

The  party  publishes  two  Chinese-language  newspapers  in  the  city: 
The  Chinese  Nationalist  Daily  (809  Sacramento  St.)  and  the  Young 
China  (88 1  Clay  St.),  founded  by  Dr.  Sun  Yat-sen. 

109.  The    irregular    series    of    rectangular    terraces    forming    the 
CHINESE  CHILDREN'S  PLAYGROUND  (open  weekdays  10-10; 
play  apparatus),  Sacramento  St.  between  Waverly  PI.  and  Stockton  St., 
are  walled  by  the  dark  brick  of  surrounding  buildings.    Brightly  lighted 
at  night,  the  playground  is  the  occasional  scene  of  evening  entertainment 
and  concerts  (on  gala  occasions  the  children  wear  their  native  dress). 
The  upturned  cornices  of  the  small  pagoda-like  stucco  clubhouse  are 
brightly  painted. 

N.  from  Sacramento  St.  on  Stockton  St. 

1 10.  The     CHINESE     CONSOLIDATED     BENEVOLENT 
ASSOCIATION  (open  to  visitors  1-5),  843  Stockton  St.,  also  called 
the  Chung  Wan  Wui  Goon  and  the  China  Association,  is  best  known 
as  the  Chinese  Six  Companies — despite  the  fact  that  it  long  has  repre- 
sented seven  companies.     These  seven  associations,  each  representing  a 
province  or  district  of  old  China,  are  the  Kong  Chow,  Ning  Yung,  Sam 
Yup,  Sue  Hing,  Yan  Wo,  Yeung  Wo,  and  the  Hop  Wo — formed  when 
so  many  persons  had  come  from  one  district  that  it  was  advisable  to 
make  two  companies  of  one.      (The  Chinese  system  of  organization 
follows  three  lines:  family — of  which  there  are  about  100;  geographical 
— hence  the  7  associations  listed  above;  and  fraternal — the  tongs,  of 
which  there  are  about  40,  composed  of  people  with  common  interests, 
such  as  trades.) 

With  Nation-wide  jurisdiction,  the  Six  Companies  functions  as  a 
board  of  arbitration,  settling  disputes  among  organizations  and  indi- 
viduals. Chinatown's  civic  activities,  such  as  the  annual  Community 
Chest  drive  and  Rice  Bowl  parties,  are  under  its  management.  It  assists 
in  maintaining  the  Chinese  Hospital  and  Chinese  schools.  A  particu- 
larly important  function  is  its  supervision  of  the  removal  of  the  bones  of 
Chinese  dead  from  American  cemeteries  to  China  for  reburial  or  reposi- 
tory in  shrines. 

The  Six  Companies  at  one  time  engaged  in  commercial  activities — 
such  as  the  importation  of  bonded  Chinese  laborers — but  is  today  a  non- 
profit organization  supported  by  popular  subscription,  special  taxes,  and 
the  income  from  its  properties.  From  among  its  officers  (representatives 
of  the  seven  associations  named  above)  a  new  president  is  elected  every 
three  months.  The  brief  presidential  term  is  designed  to  prevent  the 
acquisition  of  undue  power  or  influence  by  any  one  officer. 


CHINATOWN      231 

The  organization  occupies  a  three-story  stuccoed  building  roofed 
with  red  tile.  White  marble  steps  lead  to  a  first-floor  veranda  guarded 
by  giant  Chinese  lanterns.  Contrasting  with  the  facade  of  sky-blue  tile 
are  green-  and  gold-trimmed  balconies  opening  onto  the  second  and 
third  floors.  The  interior  is  sumptuously  furnished  in  the  Chinese  motif, 
from  the  large  main-floor  meeting  hall  to  the  rooms  and  offices  of  the 
upper  floors. 

in.  A  pioneer  of  Protestant  faith  in  Chinatown  is  the  CHINESE 
PRESBYTERIAN  CHURCH,  925  Stockton  St.,  founded  in  1853. 
The  present  building  was  erected  after  the  1906  fire  upon  the  ruins  of 
the  original  structure.  The  simple,  uncarpeted  interior  resembles  that 
of  a  country  church,  with  its  rough,  beamed  ceilings,  its  long  pews,  and 
the  rows  of  chairs  behind  the  pulpit;  yet  its  atmosphere  is  that  of  the 
Orient.  Three  red  velvet  panels  behind  the  rostrum  carry  inscriptions, 
in  gold  Chinese  characters,  of  the  Ten  Commandments,  the  Lord's 
Prayer,  and  the  Beatitudes. 

The  Chinese  Presbyterian  Church,  in  1854,  published  San  Fran- 
cisco's first  Chinese  and  English  newspaper  (probably  the  first  in  the 
United  States),  The  Oriental,  which  is  said  to  have  done  much  to 
counteract  the  local  hostility  between  Chinese  and  the  white  race  during 
its  two-year  existence.  A  copy  of  the  paper  is  preserved  in  the  Presby- 
terian Theological  Seminary  at  San  Anselmo.  The  church  conducts 
day  and  evening  classes  in  English  for  Chinese  of  all  ages. 

W .  from  Stockton  St.  on  Washington  St.  to   W etmore  St.;  S.  from 
Washington  on  W  etmore. 

112.  Today's     CHINESE      (PRESBYTERIAN)      MISSION 
HOME,   144  Wetmore  St.,  occupying  a  small  double  flat — home  of 
a  staff  of  Chinese  girls — is  far  removed  from  the  busy  mission  that 
moved  to  larger  quarters  four  times  after  its  establishment  in  1874.     In 
1894,  a  building  was  erected  at  920  Sacramento  Street  to  house  the 
crowded  home.     The  following  year  its  management  was  assumed  by 
Donaldina  Cameron,  who  became  "Lo   Mo"    (The   Mother)    to  the 
scores  of  Chinese  girls  she  rescued  from  slave  operators.     Long  before 
her  retirement  at  the  age  of  70,  Miss  Cameron  had  achieved  an  inter- 
national reputation.    The  mission  moved  to  its  present  quarters  in  1939. 

Retrace  on  Wetmore  St.  to  Washington  St.;  retrace  on  Washington  to 
Trenton  St.;  N.  on  Trenton. 

113.  The  CHINESE  HOSPITAL,  SE.  corner  Trenton  and  Jack- 
son Sts.,  built  in  1924  by  public  subscription  by  and  for  the  residents  of 
Chinatown,  occupies  a  four-story,  many-windowed  gray  concrete  build- 


232       SAN     FRANCISCO 

ing,  decorated  by  ornamental  iron  grill  work  and  topped  by  a  large 
sunroom.  Chinatown  continues  to  support  its  little  58-bed  hospital, 
aided  only  by  the  Community  Chest,  while  white  patients  in  increasing 
numbers  take  advantage  of  its  reasonable  rates — low  in  comparison  to 
those  of  other  modern  hospitals  of  the  same  standing.  The  institution 
consists,  in  addition  to  its  general  medical  department  and  surgery,  of 
emergency  and  maternity  wards;  an  eye,  ear,  nose  and  throat  depart- 
ment; and  a  clinic  with  in-  and  out-patient  departments.  It  is  staffed 
by  both  Chinese  and  white  employees  and  officials. 

Retrace  on  Trenton  St.  to  Washington  St.;  E.  on  Washington. 

114.  What  is  now  OLD  CHINATOWN  LANE,  extending  a 
half-block  northward  from  its  entrance  near  868  Washington  Street — 
a  narrow  paved  thoroughfare  of  bazaars  and  shops  characteristic  of 
Chinatown — was  once  the  "Street  of  the  Gamblers,"  a  crowded  little 
lane  notorious  for  its  gaming  rooms  and  brothels.  Later,  it  became 
Cameron  Alley  (honoring  Donaldina  Cameron)  and  kept  this  name 
until  1939,  when,  oddly  enough,  its  dingy  tenements  were  modernized 
to  resemble  the  untouched  Chinatown  of  a  generation  ago. 

At  the  street's  entrance  stands  a  4O-foot  edifice  embodying  a  watch 
tower,  in  authentic  design,  such  as  guards  temple  or  palace  gates  and 
public  grounds  in  China.  The  alleyway  is  decorated  with  bright  Chi- 
nese lanterns,  flowers,  and  shrubs.  Among  its  shops  is  THE  PAVILION 
OF  THE  SEVEN  MAIDENS.  Here,  beyond  a  store  offering  oriental 
handcraft,  is  the  first  women's  temple  in  the  United  States,  dedicated  to 
the  Queen  of  Heaven  (T'ien  Hou)  and  watched  over  by  the  goddess  of 
mercy.  The  legend  of  the  temple  is  the  story  of  a  lovely  goddess,  who 
fell  in  love  with  a  shepherd.  She  was  allowed  to  marry  him  but,  as 
punishment,  was  permitted  to  join  him  only  on  the  seventh  day  of  the 
seventh  moon,  at  which  time  magpies  formed  a  bridge  with  their  wings 
that  the  goddess  might  descend.  One  of  the  tapestries  in  the  temple 
depicts  the  goddess  in  the  act  of  descending  thus  to  meet  her  waiting 
lover. 

In  the  CHINGWAH  LEE  ART  STUDIO  (12  m.  to  12  p.m.),  reached  by 
a  narrow  stairway  at  the  far  end  of  the  lane,  are  exhibited  a  rare  collec- 
tion of  porcelain,  bronzes,  ancient  snuff  bottles,  paintings^  ancient 
weapons  of  warfare,  and  a  large  collection  of  Chinese  gods  (many  from 
temples  formerly  situated  in  towns  and  camps  throughout  California, 
which  eventually  will  be  housed  in  a  new  temple). 

Extending  from  the  north  end  of  Old  Chinatown  Lane  westward  to 
Stockton  Street  is  the  STREET  OF  THE  LITTLE  '  BAZAARS,  an  indoor 
passage  whose  model  was  a  street  of  old  China.  Midway  in  it  is  a  wish- 
ing well  surrounded  by  a  small  garden. 


CHINATOWN      233 

S.  from  Washington  St.  on  Waverly  PL 

115.  The  main  floor  of  the  four-story,  yellow-brick  building  housing 
the  TIN  HOW  TEMPLE  (suggested  visiting  hours  6-10  p.m.},  125 
Waverly  PL,  is  occupied  by  the  Sue  King  Benevolent  Association,  by 
whom   the   temple   is  maintained.      Maroon-colored   balconies   run   the 
length  of  the  three  upper  floors.     A  wrought-iron  gate  on  the  top  floor 
(summon  attendant  by  bell]  guards  the  temple  of  T'ien  Hou,  Queen  of 
the  Heavens  and  Goddess  of  the  Seven  Seas. 

It  is  believed  by  many  Chinese  that  one  of  the  present  altars  was 
brought  to  San  Francisco  in  1848,  by  one  of  the  few  Chinese  who 
arrived  that  year,  transferred  from  a  sailing  vessel  to  a  house  at  First 
and  Brannan  Streets,  and  later  moved  to  Waverly  Place.  When  a 
larger  temple  erected  in  1875  was  ravaged  by  the  flames  of  1906,  the 
altar  and  the  goddess  T'ien  Hou  were  removed  temporarily  to  Oakland. 
The  following  year,  workmen  excavating  for  the  basement  of  the  present 
building  discovered  the  great  temple  bell,  and  it  too  was  reinstalled. 

The  main  altar  of  the  temple  presents  an  intricate  carving  repre- 
senting the  life  story  of  Confucius.  To  the  left  of  T'ien  Hou  sits  Moi 
Dii,  god  of  military  affairs,  and  Ni-Lung,  one  of  the  goddesses  of 
motherhood.  In  front  of  T'ien  Hou  are  three  massive  bronze  urns 
containing  prayer  sticks  and  a  tiny  altar  light,  which  is  never  permitted 
to  burn  out.  Along  the  walls  are  16  ceremonial  wands,  resembling 
ancient  Chinese  battle-axes,  used  in  early  times  as  implements  of  war- 
fare against  evil  spirits.  With  the  altar,  set  in  the  center  of  the  sanc- 
tuary, are  two  urns  inlaid  with  Cantonese  enamel  and  precious  stones; 
their  designs  depict  scenes  from  the  life  and  work  of  Confucius,  whose 
teachings  are  especially  revered,  although  Buddhism  and  Taoism  are 
also  represented. 

Retrace  on  Waverly  PL;  E.  on  Washington  St. 

1 1 6.  A  pagoda-like,  green-fronted,  little  one-story  structure  houses 
the  CHINESE  TELEPHONE  EXCHANGE,  743  Washington  St., 
only  exchange  of  its  kind  outside  China.    The  interior  is  elaborate  with 
gilt   and   wood   carvings;   dragons   in    bas    relief    decorate    the   ceiling. 
Intricately  carved  grillwork  screens  shield  the  20  girls  operators  from 
observation.     Some  of  the  present   (1940)  operators  are  descendants  of 
the  men  who  handled  the  original  exchange  in  1894;  unusual  memories 
are  required  of  them,  since  the  2,100  subscribers  include  many  who  insist 
upon  asking  for  one  another  by  name  rather  than  by  number. 

The  exchange  stands  on  the  SITE  OF  THE  CALIFORNIA  STAR.  Here 
Sam  Brannan,  renegade  Mormon  and  organizer  of  the  first  Vigilance 


234      SAN     FRANCISCO 

Committee,    published    the    California   Star,    first    newspaper    in    San 
Francisco. 


Retrace  on  Washington  St.  to  Grant  Ave.;  N.  on  Grant. 

117.  Guiding  the   destiny   of   the   ORIENTAL   BRANCH    OF 
THE  BANK  OF  AMERICA  (open  Mon.-Fri.  9-3,  Sat.  9-7),  939 
Grant  Ave.,  are  its  California-born  manager,  Dorothy  Gee,  and  eight 
Chinese  women  department  heads.     (Only  one  other  bank  in  the  world, 
in  Shanghai,  is  operated  entirely  by  women.)     The  branch  is  proud  of 
an  unusual  record:  not  a  single  loan  defaulted  during  the  entire  period 
of  the  depression. 

The  establishment  occupies  the  ground  floor  of  a  four-story  yellow- 
brick  building.  The  facade  is  enlivened  by  black  and  red  marble,  the 
windows  bordered  with  carved  black  teak.  Customers'  desks  in  the 
lobby — some  of  which  are  of  teakwood — are  supplied  with  the  abacus, 
still  used  for  mathematical  calculations  by  many  of  the  branch's  9,000 
depositors. 

E.  from  Grant  Ave.  on  Jackson  St. 

1 1 8.  Motion  pictures  made  both  in  Hollywood  and  China  (Chinese 
films  predominate)  have  been  shown  at  the  GREAT  CHINA  THEA- 
TER (open  7-12  p.m.,  adm.  J5^),  636  Jackson  St.,  since  it  abandoned 
legitimate  productions  in   1938.     In  the  small  ornate  foyer — orange- 
fronted  and  covered  by  a  blue  ceiling  dotted  with  gilt  stars — stills  of 
Chinese  cinema  stars  are  displayed  beside  scenes  from  such  attractions  as 
"Ray  'Crash'  Corrigan  in  Part  3  of  Undersea  Kingdom."    The  names 
of  current  attractions,  in  Chinese  characters  on  cheap  wrapping  paper, 
are  elaborately  framed  with  floral  designs. 

Retrace  on  Jackson  St.  to  Grant  Ave.;  N.  on  Grant. 

119.  Everyone  is  a  first-nighter  at  the  MANDARIN  THEATER 
(open  7:J0  p.m.- 12: 30  a.m.;  adm.  25^-50$),  for  the  play  changes  each 
evening.    With  few  props  and  little  scenery,  the  native  dramas  seem  to 
flow  on  endlessly,  while  the  orchestra  (seated  onstage  out  of  range  of 
the  play)  and  the  audience  consume  melon  seeds,  ice  cream,  and  "pop." 
For  late   arrivals,   the   programs  carry   detailed   synopses  of   the   play. 
The  actors  are  unperturbed  by  the  antics  of  children  scampering  up  and 
down  the  aisles  or  by  the  intrusion  of  prop  men,  who  casually  walk  off 
and  on  supplying  needed  properties — often  by  placing  a  table  between 
two  bamboo  stools  to  form  a  bridge,  over  which  the  actor  walks  sedately 


CHINATOWN      235 

to   meet   his   foe   in   the   dramatic   sword   fight   that   highlights   every 
performance. 

Only  within  late  years  were  curtains  introduced  into  Chinatown's 
legitimate  theaters.  These  usually  were  supplied  by  some  Chinese 
manufacturer,  who  devised  this  method  of  advertising  local  wares  to  a 
foreign  public.  The  following  notice  recently  appeared  on  the  rather 
gaudy  drapery  of  the  Mandarin's  proscenium: 

"Heart  Brand  Disease  Solution  Dependable  for  curing  all 
kinds  of  Skin  Disease.  'The  Wai  Shang  Yuk  Ching'  Tonic  Juice. 
Safely  and  Highly  recommended  for  nourishing  the  Blood  and 
Brain. 

Aukah   Chuen        Canton,    China." 


Latin  Quarter: 
Telegraph  Hill  and  North  Beach 

"The  city  is  full  of  bold  hills,  rising  steeply  from  the  deep 
water.  The  air  is  keen  and  dry  and  bright  like  the  air  of  Greece 
and  the  waters  not  less  blue  .  .  .  recalling  the  cities  of  the  Medi- 
terranean .  .  " 

— JAMES,   VISCOUNT  BRYCE 

BETWEEN  the  two  steep  hills  that  loom  abruptly  from  the 
Peninsula's  northeastern  bulge — on  the  east,  Telegraph  Hill; 
on  the  west,  Russian  Hill — ringed  with  their  tiers  of  buildings, 
a  narrow  valley  runs  northwestward  from  the  fringes  of  the  financial 
district  to  the  water  front  of  North  Beach.  Along  its  bottom  cuts  the 
diagonal  of  Columbus  Avenue,  which  begins  among  the  clustering  shops, 
cafes,  and  night  clubs  at  the  southern  base  of  Telegraph  Hill  and  ends 
among  the  gasworks,  warehouses,  and  smokestacks  at  the  northern  base 
of  Russian  Hill.  Up  from  this  traffic-crowded  artery,  where  stucco- 
fronted  commercial  buildings  with  their  awnings  and  signboards  string 
in  long  rows,  climb  endless  blocks  of  weathered  frame  flats,  staggered — 
step-like — one  above  another.  Here  and  there  a  round-bellied  window, 
a  red-tiled  roof,  a  patch  of  green  garden  breaks  the  monotony  of  their 
ranks.  In  the  salt-fresh,  sun-baked  air  of  a  clear  day,  each  building 
stands  out  sharply,  tarnished  with  a  mellow  patina  of  sun,  fog,  and 
soot.  Seen  in  such  weather,  under  a  hot  blue  sky,  the  district  is 
reminiscent  of  some  Mediterranean  seaside  village  spilling  to  the  water 
from  steep  heights.  And  seen  when  the  billowing  mists  of  a  smoky 
twilight  stream  down  the  slopes,  it  has  the  look  of  a  sprawling  hillside 
town  of  northern  Italy. 

Whether  imagined  or  actual,  such  resemblances  could  not  have 
failed  to  suggest  themselves  to  San  Franciscans  who  know  that  this  is 
San  Francisco's  "Little  Italy."  It  could  only  have  been  an  imagined 
resemblance  that  prompted  Ernest  Peixotto's  often-quoted  remark:  "If 
you  want  to  behold  a  bit  of  the  Bay  of  Naples,  go  some  misty  morning 
to  Fisherman's  Wharf."  To  Robert  Louis  Stevenson  the  district  was 
"Little  Italy  ...  a  favorite  haunt  of  mine  .  .  ."  In  his  time,  too,  it 
was  called  "Little  Mexico"  (a  part  of  it  still  is  Mexican).  And  it 
might  once  haye  been  named  "Little  Ireland,"  for  as  Wallace  Irwin 
wrote  of  "Telygraft  Hill": 

236 


LATIN     QUARTER      237 

"The  Irish  they  live  on  the  top  av  it, 

And  th'  Dagoes  they  live  on  th'  base  av  it, 
And  th'  goats  and  th'  chicks  and  th'  brickbats  and  shticks 
Is  joombled   all  over  th'  face   av  it  .  .  ." 

Through  the  years,  the  face  of  hill  and  beach  have  changed  almost 
beyond  recognition,  but  since  the  town's  beginnings  the  steep  slopes  of 
these  northeastern  limits  have  been  peopled  with  a  many-tongued  foreign 
colony.  And  like  Latin  Quarters  everywhere,  the  district  came  in  the 
end  to  be  the  traditional  haunt  of  bohemia. 

The  visitor  who  boards  a  streetcar  for  North  Beach  will  no  more 
find  an  ocean  beach  at  the  end  of  the  line  than  will  the  pedestrian  who 
toils  up  Telegraph  Hill  find  a  telegraph  station  at  the  end  of  his  climb. 
The  beach  along  which  bathhouses  clustered — in  the  days  when  the 
famous  wharf  built  by  "Honest  Harry"  Meiggs  in  1853  still  extended 
into  the  Bay  from  the  foot  of  Powell  Street — was  buried  more  than 
half  a  century  ago  when  tons  of  earth  were  dumped  into  the  water,  out 
as  far  as  the  sea  wall  extending  along  the  present  water  front,  finished 
in  1 88 1.  And  long  since  vanished  is  that  telegraph  station  on  the 
summit  of  the  hill  which  was  a  city  landmark  for  decades  after  it  was 
connected  by  wire  in  1853  with  a  lookout  station  at  Point  Lobos.  The 
station  replaced  the  still  older  semaphore  of  which  Bret  Harte  wrote  in 
"The  Man  at  the  Semaphore":  ".  .  .  on  the  extremest  point  of  the 
sandy  peninsula,  where  the  bay  of  San  Francisco  debouches  into  the 
Pacific,  there  stood  a  semaphore  telegraph  ...  it  signified  to  another 
semaphore  farther  inland  the  'rigs'  of  incoming  vessels,  by  certain  un- 
couth signs,  which  were  passed  on  to  Telegraph  Hill,  San  Fraincisco, 
where  they  reappeared  on  a  third  semaphore  .  .  .  and  on  certain  days 
of  the  month  every  eye  was  turned  to  welcome  those  gaunt  arms  widely 
extended  at  right  angles  which  meant  'side-wheel  steamer'  (the  only 
steamer  which  carried  the  mails)  and  'letters  from  home.'  ': 

The  road  to  the  Presidio,  which  wound  over  Telegraph  Hill's 
western  shoulders  and  past  North  Beach,  was  a  track  through  unsettled 
wilds  until  the  later  i85o's.  For  years  the  only  house  between  Yerba 
Buena  and  the  Presidio  was  the  hospitable  adobe  which  Juana  Briones 
built  in  1836  near  the  hill's  western  base,  at  what  is  now  the  inter- 
section of  Powell  and  Filbert  Streets.  In  the  shelter  of  that  Loma  Alta 
(high  hill)  of  the  Spanish  discoverers,  the  buxom  dark-featured  widow 
of  Apolinario  Miranda  supplied  milk  and  green  vegetables  to  visiting 
ship's  crews,  administered  to  the  sick,  and  sheltered  an  occasional  refugee 
from  the  wretchedness  of  life  before  the  mast.  The  travelers  of  the 
iSso's  found  the  "old  Presidio  road  .  .  .  neither  safe  nor  pleasant," 
recalled  pioneers  T.  A.  Barry  and  B.  A.  Patten.  "The  hard  adobe  soil 
in  summer  was  like  stone,  and  in  the  rainy  season  gummy,  sticky  and 
disagreeable.  The  steep,  shelving,  uneven  way  [made]  the  carriage  per- 


238      SAN     FRANCISCO 

petually  seem  as  if  it  were  just  toppling  over.  .  .  .  Like  all  primitive 
roads,  it  wound  up  over  the  highest,  most  toilsome  way,  past  cattle-pens, 
corrals,  brick-yards  and  butcher's  shambles,  the  ground  all  the  way 
looking  as  baked  and  hard  as  slag  or  adamant,  with  no  sign  of 
vegetation  .  .  ." 

Around  Telegraph  Hill's  southern  slopes — no  more  than  a  stone's 
throw  from  the  town's  first  landing  place  at  Clarke's  Point — congre- 
gated in  1849  exiles  from  Australia's  penal  colonies  in  a  district  of  grog 
shops,  brothels,  and  gambling  dives  known  as  "Sydney  Town."  Along 
the  hill's  western  base  spread  the  shacks  and  tents  of  "Little  Chile," 
settled  by  Chilenos  and  Peruvians.  At  weekly  intervals,  usually  on 
Sundays,  the  organized  hoodlums  who  called  themselves  "Hounds" — 
many  of  their  number  recruited  from  Sydney  Town — used  to  raid  the 
Chileno  quarter,  pillaging  the  houses,  robbing  and  beating  the  in- 
habitants, attacking  the  women.  The  depredations  were  only  halted  by 
the  Vigilance  Committee  of  1851. 

For  decades  the  North  Point  Docks  under  the  brow  of  Telegraph 
Hill,  built  in  1853  from  the  foot  of  Sansome  Street,  were  the  landing 
place  for  immigrants  from  France  and  Italy.  From  the  beginning  they 
settled  around  the  slopes  of  the  hill.  The  section  became  a  polyglot 
community,  where  Irish,  Germans,  French,  Italians,  and  Latin  Amer- 
icans mingled  easily.  Although  the  first  Italians  had  arrived  as  early  as 
the  i83o's,  they  began  to  overwhelm  the  other  nationalities  with  their 
numbers  only  toward  the  end  of  the  nineteenth  century.  By  the  thou- 
sands they  came — laborers,  artisans,  mechanics,  farmers,  shopkeepers. 
As  soon  as  they  were  well  established,  they  lent  passage  money  to 
countrymen  in  the  homeland.  The  majority  settled  in  the  North 
Beach-Telegraph  Hill  section  because  it  reminded  them  of  their  native 
land,  because  rents  and  land  were  cheap  there,  and  because  it  was  near 
the  Bay  where  many  of  them  earned  their  living  by  fishing.  The  Irish, 
the  Germans,  and  the  French  moved  to  other  parts  of  the  city.  When 
the  fire  of  1906  began  to  creep  up  the  slopes  of  the  hill,  it  was  the 
Italians  who  saved  it.  From  their  cellars  they  rolled  out  barrels  of  red 
wine  and,  forming  a  bucket  brigade,  protected  their  houses  against  the 
flames  with  blankets  soaked  in  the  wine.  The  district  has  been  theirs 
ever  since,  shared  for  the  most  part  only  by  the  Latin  American  colony 
at  its  southwestern  fringes,  near  the  base  of  Russian  Hill,  and  by  the 
bohemian  colony  (succeeded  lately  by  sympathizers  of  more  affluent 
means)  on  the  crest  of  Telegraph  Hill. 

"Little  Italy"  is  no  longer  so  little,  for  the  Italians,  60,000  strong, 
are  San  Francisco's  largest  and  most  powerful  national  minority.  And 
North  Beach  is  home  not  only  for  the  Italians  who  live  there  but  also 
for  those  who.  have  moved  to  other  parts  of  the  city  or  the  Bay  region. 
On  Sundays  and  feast  days  they  come  back  to  North  Beach  to  visit 


LATIN     QUARTER      239 

relatives  and  revive  old  friendships.  They  fill  the  bay-windowed  flats, 
lounge  in  the  doorways,  and  gather  in  groups  for  sidewalk  discussion. 
They  crowd  the  lawns  and  benches  beneath  the  weeping  willows  in 
Washington  Square.  In  their  eyes  is  little  regret  for  the  vanishing 
past;  in  their  rich  laughter  only  a  hearty  appreciation  for  the  present. 
What  if  the  old  stores  are  beginning  to  disappear — the  dingy  shelves 
and  counters  stacked  with  dried  mushrooms,  anchovies,  and  the  Italian 
cheeses :  Parmesan,  Roma,  Gorgonzola — the  dusty  rafters  festooned  with 
yards  of  rich  moldy  sausages  and  bunches  of  aromatic  dried  herbs:  rose- 
mary, thyme,  sage  and  sweet  marjoram — the  boxes  of  creamy  smooth 
chocolates  from  Turin  and  Perugia?  Are  not  the  great  new  markets, 
dazzling  with  refrigerated  show  cases  and  white  tile,  filled  with  the 
same  good  things  to  eat? 

In  the  spring  the  markets,  both  old  and  modern,  proclaim  the  virtues 
of  capretti,  fresh  suckling  kid.  The  young  goats'  heads,  replete  with 
tiny  horns,  are  displayed  in  the  windows.  Brown  and  white  candy 
lambs,  with  little  brass  bells  hung  about  their  necks  and  Italian  flags 
thrust  in  their  backs,  appear  in  all  the  confectionaries.  Beside  them  lie 
huge  Easter  eggs  with  Buona  Pasqua  written  on  them  in  sparkling 
sugar.  The  pre-Lenten  season  is  also  the  occasion  for  elaborate  displays 
in  shops  devoted  to  imported  gravure  prints  of  a  religious  nature  and 
Carrara  marble  images  of  the  Virgin. 

Formerly  this  season  was  marked  by  the  rivalry  between  the  Gari- 
baldi and  Bercigliari  Guards.  Sponsored  by  competing  undertaking 
establishments,  these  two  drill  companies  contested  at  Easter  parades  and 
pre-Lenten  carnival  balls  for  the  choice  of  a  queen  and  for  trophies. 
Today  the  Italian  Family  Club  and  other  social  organizations  hold 
pre-Lenten  balls,  but  the  maskers  are  missing,  being  confined  to  Italian 
celebrations  of  such  Anglo-Saxon  festivities  as  Hallowe'en  and  New 
Year's  Eve. 

Keen  rivalry  still  exists,  however,  among  the  colony's  residents  in 
the  choice  of  a  queen  for  the  annual  fete  on  Columbus  Day.  Elected 
usually  by  votes  secured  through  purchases  at  various  North  Beach 
stores,  she  reigns  briefly  each  October  12.  A  special  mass  at  the  Church 
of  Saints  Peter  and  Paul  honors  the  great  discoverer,  as  does  a  parade 
to  the  Municipal  Pier  at  the  foot  of  Van  Ness  Avenue.  At  the  pier  a 
pageant  in  fifteenth  century  costumes  re-enacts  Columbus'  momentous 
landing  on  the  shores  of  San  Salvador. 

In  the  fall,  when  truckloads  of  ripened  grapes  have  been  piled  in 
cellars,  North  Beach  waxes  heady  with  the  smell  of  fermenting  wine. 
The  owners  of  portable  winepresses  move  from  one  cool  basement  to 
another,  crushing  grapes  for  the  red  vino.  Besides  beverages  of  domestic 
manufacture,  North  Beach  merchants  offer  wines  and  liquors  imported 


24O      SAN     FRANCISCO 

from  Italy;  and  vov  of  Padua  has  converted  many  not  of  Latin  blood  to 
the  colony's  gastronomy  and  its  casual  way  of  life. 

To  industry,  finance,  sports,  and  politics  the  city's  Italians  have  made 
distinguished  contributions.  The  names  of  Amadeo  Giannini,  founder 
of  the  Bank  of  America,  Armando  Pedrini,  and  James  A.  Bacigalupi 
are  known  to  the  world's  stock  markets.  (Until  the  1929  stock  market 
crash  scarcely  a  North  Beach  Italian,  from  cook's  helper  to  crab  fisher- 
man, did  not  own  shares  in  Giannini's  corporation.)  Mayor  Angelo  J. 
Rossi  is  of  Italian  descent.  Of  National  reputation  in  the  world  of 
sports  are  the  Di  Maggio  brothers;  Fred  Apostoli,  the  boxer;  Charlie 
Ferrara,  golf  champion;  Vic  Bottari  and  Angelo  "Hank"  Luisetti, 
football  and  basketball  heroes.  (With  great  pride  North  Beach  resi- 
dents point  out  the  playground  at  Lombard  and  Mason  Streets  where 
they  say  Joe  Di  Maggio  learned  to  play  baseball. ) 

Mostly  immigrants  from  Italy's  northern  provinces,  the  robust 
inhabitants  of  North  Beach  maintain  their  attachment  for  the  soil  in 
spite  of  their  urban  mode  of  living.  The  Peninsula  truck  gardens 
owned  by  their  compatriots  supply  the  city's  wholesale  vegetable  and 
flower  markets.  The  colony's  other  roots,  particularly  for  its  Neapolitan 
and  Sicilian  elements,  are  in  the  fishing  industry;  and  herein  is  revealed 
a  communal  strain  that  is  in  marked  contrast  to  the  individualism 
apparent  in  other  Italian  enterprises.  Members  of  the  Crab  Fishermen's 
Protective  Association  own  their  boats  and  gear  in  common  and  share 
among  themselves  the  profits  of  the  catch  they  bring  in  to  Fisherman's 
Wharf. 

Ever  since  Juana  Briones  established  her  home  here,  Spanish-speaking 
people  have  lived  in  North  Beach.  Although  most  of  them  now  live 
farther  west  near  the  base  of  Russian  Hill,  many  still  cling  to  their 
older  habitat  on  the  slopes  of  Telegraph  Hill.  Here  an  ill-concealed 
and  profound  antagonism  exists  between  them  and  their  Italian  neigh- 
bors. They  patronize  small  butcher  shops  and  grocery  stores  owned  by 
their  own  countrymen.  At  the  base  of  the  hill  a  barber  shop  finds  it 
expedient  to  hire  barbers  of  each  nationality,  with  separate  chairs,  for 
its  factional  clientele.  That  the  sins  of  the  fathers  may  not  be  visited 
upon  the  coming  generations,  however,  a  third  chair  is  provided,  with 
a  hobbyhorse  mounted  on  its  seat,  which  is  shared  by  children  of  both 
nationalities. 

The  small  colony  of  Spanish-speaking  people  in  the  vicinity  of  Powell 
Street  and  Broadway  likewise  share  with  some  misgivings  the  larger 
domain  of  their  Italian  neighbors,  who  own  most  of  their  property,  and 
even  their  weekly  newspaper,  El  Impartial.  The  Mexicans  and  other 
Latin  Americans  maintain  a  separate  life  and  a  separate  culture  that 
clings  to  customs  of  their  homelands.  Although  a  common  religion  is 
their  strongest  bond  with  their  immediate  neighbors,  Nuestra  Senora 


LATIN     QUARTER      24! 

de  Guadalupe  differs  in  aspect  from  the  Italian  church  which  overlooks 
Washington  Square.  Along  the  base  of  Russian  Hill  they  have  also 
their  restaurants  and  social  clubs,  their  abarrotes  which  offer  Mexican 
candies,  pastry,  huaraches,  and  pottery.  Spanish  phonograph  records 
are  sold  in  a  store  which  displays  Spanish  books,  South  American  and 
Mexican  periodicals,  and  American  "pulp"  magazines  reprinted  in 
Spanish. 

Despite  its  Spanish  origins,  San  Francisco  has  today  only  about 
8,700  Mexicans,  of  whom  approximately  7,000  are  native  born.  Other 
scattered  Spanish-speaking  groups  bring  the  total  Latin  American  minor- 
ity to  about  14,000.  Many  old  families  live  in  North  Beach.  The 
majority  of  the  Mexicans  are  laborers;  the  Peruvians  and  others  have 
clerical  jobs  in  the  export  and  import  trade.  They  have  no  native 
theater,  but  a  North  Beach  movie  shows  a  Spanish  motion  picture  once 
each  week.  The  Basque  sheep-ranchers  who  come  occasionally  to  North 
Beach  are  still  to  be  found  about  the  Espanol  and  Du  Midi  hotels. 
Mexican  folk  dances  such  as  the  jarabe  tapetillo  are  seen  only  in  cafes 
like  La  Fiesta.  A  little  curio  shop  on  Pacific  Street  sells  baskets  woven 
of  maguey  fibre,  the  vivid  handicraft  of  Yaqui  Indians,  and  various 
native  wares  imported  from  below  the  Rio  Grande. 

As  North  Beach  clings  to  its  traditions  in  spite  of  physical  and 
social  change,  so  does  Telegraph  Hill ;  and  the  hill  has  a  tradition  all 
its  own  which  is  not  altogether  incidental  to  the  history  of  the  Latin 
elements  that  have  claimed  all  but  its  summit  and  its  eastern  side.  The 
"Telygraft  Hill"  of  the  Irish  who  believed  themselves  descendants  of 
Gaelic  kings  and  littered  the  hill  with  their  shanties,  their  washing,  and 
their  goats  exists  today  only  in  the  reminiscences  of  old-timers,  but  their 
influence  is  still  there — with  a  few  of  the  Irish  themselves  to  keep  it 
alive.  The  French,  who  shared  the  hill  with  them,  have  also  moved 
elsewhere,  and  their  old  locations  have  been  claimed  by  the  Italians. 

Gone,  too,  is  that  fervent  assemblage  of  bohemians  to  whom  Tele- 
graph Hill  was  an  oasis  of  Art  in  the  wasteland  of  the  1920*8.  Scattered 
now  to  fame,  hack  work,  or  cheaper  quarters  are  all  those  blase  girls 
and  sad  young  men  who  talked  interminably  in  Freudian  overtones  of 
Picasso  and  T.  S.  Eliot,  Stravinsky  and  Isadora  Duncan,  and  read  with 
bated  breath  in  transition  and  the  Dial  the  expatriate  communiques 
from  Rapallo  and  Trieste,  and  Paris  editions  of  Joyce's  Ulysses  smug- 
gled in  from  Mexico.  That  they  painted  little  and  wrote  less  was 
beside  the  point:  they  represented  for  Telegraph  Hill  the  cultural 
frustration  of  an  epoch,  Gertrude  Stein's  "lost  generation"  before  it 
found  itself  in  the  rebirth  of  National  bohemianism  somewhat  more 
affluent,  less  real. 

The  passing  of  the  days  when  the  summit  of  "the  Hill  was  not 
inhabited  save  by  flocks  of  goats" — as  Charles  Warren  Stoddard,  who 


242      SAN     FRANCISCO 

once  lived  there,  wrote — was  bitterly  resisted  by  the  little  group  of 
professional  bohemians  who  had  labored  to  create  a  Greenwich  Village 
of  the  West.  When  one  of  the  first  of  the  hill's  more  pretentious 
homes  began  to  rise  from  concrete  foundations  perched  uncertainly  on 
the  steep  slope,  it  was  threatened  by  intermittent  barrages  of  rocks,  tin 
cans,  and  dead  cats  until,  during  the  last  weeks  of  construction,  the 
owner  was  obliged  to  camp  out  in  the  unfinished  building  to  protect  it 
from  vandalism.  As  improvements  encroached,  rents  rose.  When 
Montgomery  Street  was  paved  through  to  Julius'  Castle  and  towering 
concrete  bulkheads  were  erected  to  dam  up  the  treacherous  clay  hill- 
sides, three-  and  four-story  stucco  apartment  buildings  with  rents  run- 
ning into  fancy  figures  began  to  appear.  As  rents  soared,  property 
owners  began  to  rebuild  and  remodel  the  weatherbeaten  shanties  cling- 
ing to  the  eastern  slopes  or  to  demolish  them  and  erect  ultramodern 
studio  apartments  in  their  places.  The  artists  retreated  to  lands  of 
cheaper  living.  To  take  their  places  on  the  crest  of  the  hill  came 
brokers,  minor  executives,  and  other  part-time  bohemians. 

Filbert  Street's  long  flight  of  weather-blackened  stairs,  climbing 
over  the  hill's  grassy-edged  shoulders  and  up  its  scarred  brown  rocky 
face,  gouged  out  long  ago  to  fill  in  the  water-front  tidelands  below, 
still  affords  glimpses  of  the  hill  as  it  was.  Mounting  the  grassy  slopes, 
where  torrents  of  rainwater  still  gush  down  the  ruts  in  spring,  it  passes 
tiny  cottages  hanging  against  cliff  sides,  narrow  alleys  laid  with  planks, 
steep  little  gardens  behind  picket  fences.  Remotely  sound  the  rattle  of 
winches  along  the  docks,  the  puffs  and  snorts  of  the  Belt  Line  Railroad 
locomotives,  the  sirens,  whistles,  and  bells  of  the  water  front  below, 
from  which  float  upward  whiffs  of  the  odors  of  roasting  coffee,  of 
cinnamon,  cloves,  and  nutmeg  from  spice  and  coffee  houses.  Through 
the  haze  over  the  Bay,  where  gulls  wheel,  shimmer  Yerba  Buena  Island 
with  its  pillared  causeway  below  the  wooded  crest;  the  radiant  white 
walls  and  towers  of  Treasure  Island;  and  the  bluish  slopes — with  their 
tumbled  white  buildings — of  the  East  Bay  shore.  Over  the  weather- 
beaten  board  walks  and  fences  tumble  matted  hedges  of  geraniums; 
around  green-shuttered  windows,  over  the  railings  of  balconies  on  stilts, 
up  weather-stained  shingled  walls  clamber  creeping  vines.  And  from 
the  summit  of  the  hill,  banked  in  greenery,  soars  the  gleaming  white 
fluted  shaft  of  Coit  Tower. 

The  crest  of  the  hill  is  another  land.  Around  the  park's  patch  of 
green,  hemmed  in  by  concrete  walls,  soaring  modern  apartment  houses 
rear  their  blank  stuccoed  facades.  Ragged  eucalyptus  trees  shed  their 
leaves  on  jumbled,  varicolored  roofs.  From  facades  painted  pink,  green, 
blue,  or  yellow,  expansive  windows  look  out  across  the  Bay.  Behind 
heavy  wooden  doors,  narrow  brick-flagged  passageways  lead  into  court- 
yards sheltered  from  the  cold  blustering  breezes  off  the  ocean,  where 


LATIN     QUARTER      243 

caged  canaries  sing  in  the  sun.  The  building  fronts  are  adorned  with 
gaily  painted  doors  and  brass  knockers,  with  windows  revealing  Indian 
pottery  and  blankets,  with  window  boxes  colored  sea  green,  aquamarine, 
and  lemon  yellow.  And  only  a  half-block  down  the  western  slope, 
where  gloomy  flats  border  narrow  Genoa  Place,  begins  Little  Italy, 
with  its  sour  smell  of  bread  dough  fermenting;  its  pillows,  mattresses 
and  bedding  hung  out  to  air  from  open  windows ;  its  screaming  children 
tobogganing  down  the  steep  pavements  on  the  broken-out  sides  of  fruit 
boxes. 

Along  the  Latin  Quarter's  southern  boundary,  Broadway,  where  it 
turns  its  face  toward  the  rest  of  San  Francisco,  denizens  of  hill  and 
beach — Italians  and  bohemians — meet  and  mingle  with  the  rest  of  San 
Francisco.  Gaily  bedizened  with  glaring  electric  signs  after  dark, 
Broadway  and  its  cross  streets  in  the  four  blocks  between  Kearny  and 
Powell  Streets  are  bordered  continuously  with  restaurants  and  night 
clubs  whose  food,  wine,  and  entertainment  draw  nightly  throngs: 
Vanessi's,  Finocchio's,  the  Fior  d'ltalia,  and  New  Joe's — where  crowds 
wait  for  seats  at  three  in  the  morning;  the  Xochimilco  and  the  Sinaloa; 
the  Jai-Alai  and  the  Espanol.  At  the  opposite  end  of  North  Beach,  near 
the  water  front  with  its  wharves  and  warehouses,  the  bright  lights  of 
the  Club  Lido,  the  Bal  Tabarin,  Lucca's  and  the  Fiesta  Club  dispel  the 
gloom.  And  to  the  water  front  at  Fisherman's  Wharf,  where  the  crabs 
brought  in  by  the  fishermen  are  cooked  on  the  sidewalk  in  steaming 
caldrons,  comes  all  of  San  Francisco  for  sea  food  at  Joe  di  Maggio's, 
Fishermen's  Grotto,  or  one  of  a  dozen  open-fronted  cafes. 

To  those  who  love  it  best  North  Beach  will  remain  the  Latin 
Quarter:  bohemia  between  the  hills  and  neighbor  to  the  sea,  hospitable 
with  the  musical  linguistics  and  the  gracious  folkways  brought  hither 
by  paisanos  from  the  hot  countries.  And  the  hill  will  still  stand,  with 
its  crown  of  wind-swept  eucalyptus,  through  the  fog  and  the  rain  and 
the  sun.  And  people  will  still  come  there  at  sunset  to  watch  the  long 
shadows  creep  upward  from  the  trees  of  Washington  Square  and  to  feel 
in  the  stir  of  the  gathering  darkness  the  touch  of  George  Sterling's 
"cool  grey  city  of  love." 

POINTS  OF  INTEREST 

1 20.  Probably  the  best-known  and  best-loved  bar  in  a  city  of  count- 
less streamlined  cocktail  lounges  is  ISADORE  GOMEZ'  CAFE,  848 
Pacific  St.  A  small  lantern  before  an  inconspicuous  door  marks  the 
entrance  to  a  narrow  flight  of  dirty  wooden  stairs.  Upstairs  is  a  long, 
smoke-filled  room — a  room  (describes  the  Almanac  for  Thirty-Niners) 
".  .  .  dilapidated  as  in  speak-easy  days,  retaining  the  broken  plaster  of 
the  ceiling,  the  insecure  chairs,  the  cracked  oilcloth  on  the  tables,  the 


Latin  Quarter  Points  of  Interest 

Lords  of  the  Hilltops  Points  of  Interest  (J3J) 


LATIN     QUARTER       245 

long  pine  bar  .  .  .  Idle  behind  the  bar,  leaning  across  it  with  leisurely 
amusement,  is  Izzy  Gomez  in  a  black  fedora  ...  a  coffee-colored  fat 
man  .  .  .  elaborately  feted  on  his  birthday  by  San  Francisco's  Press 
Club  ...  an  illiterate  fat  man  painted,  photographed,  written  and 
sung  about  .  .  ."  Here  63-year-old  Isadore  greets  his  closest  friends, 
or  anyone  who  may  wander  in,  and  tells  tall,  witty  tales  of  life  in  his 
native  Portugal — or  dances  Portuguese  folk-dances  with  incredible  grace 
despite  his  massive  bulk.  On  occasion  he  expounds — punctuating  with 
a  ponderous  forefinger — the  three  principles  of  his  philosophy:  "When 
you  don't  know  what  to  say,  say  nothing";  "Life  is  a  long  road;  take  it 
easy";  "When  you  come  to  a  pool  of  water  on  that  long  road,  don't 
make  it  muddy;  maybe  you'll  pass  there  again,  and  you'll  be  thirsty." 
Since  1900  Izzy  has  been  running  his  bar,  since  1930  in  its  present 
location.  Famed  in  a  city  noted  for  good  things  to  eat  are  his  thick, 
juicy  steaks  and  great  platters  of  French-fried  potatoes.  And  drinks 
are  not  measured  here,  but  poured  with  casual  generosity  from  the 
bottle.  Repeal  has  not  changed  the  house  of  El  Gomez;  red  chalk 
marks  left  by  a  spotter  during  Prohibition  days  are  still  preserved,  and 
a  peep-hole  still  overlooks  the  stairs.  The  same  famous  mural  back  of 
the  bar  records  the  faces  of  Izzy,  of  Joe  and  "Dad"  (who  have  served 
Izzy's  customers  for  many  years,  casually  polite,  vastly  unhurried),  and 
of  the  more  colorful  characters  who  once  gathered  here.  The  initials  of 
hundreds  of  them  appear,  cut  into  woodwork  and  tables. 

N.  from  Pacific  St.  on  Poivell  St.  to  Broadway;  E.  on  Broadway. 

121.  Only  church  in  San  Francisco  whose  services  are  conducted  in 
the  Spanish  language  is  NUESTRA  SENORA  DE  GUADALUPE, 
908  Broadway,  which  derives  its  name  from  the  shrine  erected  near 
Guadalupe,  Mexico,  in  commemoration  of  the  appearance  before  the 
peon,  Juan  Diego,  of  the  Virgin  Mary.  One  of  its  two  stained-glass 
windows,  softly  lighting  the  rich  interior,  portrays  Juan  Diego  kneeling 
before  Bishop  Sumaraga.  The  chastely  simple  Romanesque  church 
building,  its  twin  domes  topped  by  gold  crosses,  was  built  in  1912.  The 
first  church  in  the  United  States  to  be  constructed  of  reinforced  concrete 
replaced  the  old  frame  structure  (dating  from  1875)  destroyed  by  the 
1906  fire.  In  April,  1939  Father  Antonio  M.  Santandreu  had  rounded 
out  his  fiftieth  year  as  the  church's  pastor.  Oldest  living  priest  on  the 
Pacific  Coast,  totally  blind  and  partially  deaf,  he  now  (1940)  is 
assisted  by  three  younger  men,  all  trained  in  Mexico  or  Spain. 

In  sharp  contrast  to  the  austere  facade  is  the  ornate  interior,  ap- 
proached from  stone  steps  which  lead  to  a  sheltered  patio  bordered  with 
flowers.  On  the  arched  ceiling  of  the  nave,  supported  by  twelve  pillars, 
is  portrayed  in  fresco  the  Holy  Sacrament  and  the  Coronation  of  the 


246      SAN     FRANCISCO 

Blessed  Virgin.  Behind  the  flood-lit  white  marble  altar,  standing  at  the 
end  of  the  exquisitely  tiled  main  aisle,  is  a  mural  depicting  the  Last 
Supper  and  the  Multiplication  of  the  Loaves  and  Fishes.  By  day,  light 
streams  through  stained-glass  windows  portraying  the  miracle  at  Guada- 
lupe  and  the  Sermon  on  the  Mount;  by  night,  from  massive  and  ornate 
candelabra.  Every  year  during  the  nine  days  before  Christmas,  when 
Mexican  families  are  commemorating  the  birth  of  Christ  with  the 
ceremonies  of  Las  Posadas  (the  lodgings)  in  their  homes,  the  church 
holds  a  novena  with  special  singing  and  prayers. 

N.  from  Broadway  on  Mason  St.  to  Vallejo  St.;  E.  from  Mason  on 
Vallejo. 

122.  First  Roman  Catholic  parish  church  in  San  Francisco,  ST. 
FRANCIS'  CHURCH,  620  Vallejo  St.,  owes  its  origin  to  the  religious 
zeal  of  a  group  of  the  Gold  Rush  town's  French  residents,  who  per- 
suaded a  young  officer  of  the  United  States  Army  to  give  them  the  use 
of  a  small  room  for  services.  Father  Langlois,  on  his  way  from  Oregon 
to  eastern  Canada  by  way  of  Cape  Horn,  was  persuaded  to  remain  as 
their  pastor.  In  a  new  adobe  chapel  on  the  church's  present  site,  on 
July  19,  1849,  Father  Langlois  said  Mass  for  the  first  time  in  the  new 
building  and  administered  the  town's  first  Roman  Catholic  baptism. 
The  French  soon  were  joined  by  worshippers  of  so  many  other  nation- 
alities that  in  1856  they  withdrew  to  found  a  church  of  their  own, 
Notre  Dame  des  Victoires. 

In  the  adobe  chapel's  schoolroom,  on  December  7,  1850,  a  reception 
was  given  for  young  Bishop  Sadoc  Alemany,  just  arrived  to  take  charge 
of  a  diocese  extending  from  the  Rocky  Mountains  to  the  Pacific  Ocean. 
Since  St.  Francis'  congregation  was  still  smarting  from  the  indignity  of 
having  been  embezzled  by  an  impostor  of  funds,  Father  Langlois  is  said 
to  have  insisted  on  the  Bishop's  credentials.  When  it  appeared  that 
San  Francisco,  rather  than  Monterey,  would  be  the  chief  city  of  the 
diocese,  he  returned  as  Archbishop  Alemany,  his  formal  translation  to 
the  Metropolitan  See  of  San  Francisco  occurring  July  23,  1853.  Here 
he  took  up  residence  in  a  wooden  shanty  adjoining  the  church,  which 
served  as  his  cathedral  until  dedication  of  St.  Mary's  on  Christmas, 

1854- 

Construction  of  a  new  St.  Francis  Church  was  begun  five  years 
later.  Dedicated  March  17,  1859,  the  fourteenth-century  Gothic  struc- 
ture of  cement-faced  brick  survived  the  1906  fire  with  little  enough 
damage  to  permit  restoration.  The  interior  is  an  aisled  nave  of  seven 
bays  with  a  shallow  apse.  In  the  apsidal  arches  above  the  ornate  altar 
and  reredos  are  a  series  of  frescoes  depicting  events  in  the  life  of  St. 


LATIN     QUARTER      247 

Francis.  Two  larger  frescoes  over  the  side  altars  portray  the  death  of 
St.  Francis  and  the  showing  of  the  Stigmata. 

NW.  from  Vallejo  St.  on  Columbus  Ave. 

123.  In  the  heart  of  the  teeming  Italian  section,  WASHINGTON 
SQUARE,  Columbus  Ave.,  Union,  Stockton,  and  Filbert  Sts.,  a  quad- 
rangular oasis  of  lawn,  cypresses,  and  weeping  willows,  is  an  out-of- 
doors  refuge  from  the  close-set  flats  of  the  locality.    In  the  center  of  the 
square  is  a  bronze  STATUE  OF  BENJAMIN  FRANKLIN,  bequeathed  by 
Henry  D.  Cogswell,  wealthy  philanthropist  and  eccentric,   to:   "Our 
boys  and  girls  who  will  soon  take  our  places  and  pass  on."     A  plaque 
in  its  base  bears  the  curious  inscription : 

"P.  O.  Box  With 

Mementos 

For  The 
Historical  Society 

In  1979 
From  H.  D.  C." 

Inscriptions  as  curious — "Vichy,"  "Congress  Water,"  and  "California 
Seltzer" — proclaim  the  virtues  of  the  ordinary  drinking  water  (Cogs- 
well was  a  determined  temperance  advocate)  which  spouts  from  the 
fountain.  On  the  east  side  of  the  park  a  granite  UNITED  STATES  COAST 
GEODETIC  SURVEY  MARKER  carries  the  legend:  "Astronomical  and 
telegraph  longitude,  United  States  Coast  and  Geodetic  Survey:  Lat. 
37-47'j  57"  N.  Longitude  122.24',  37"  W.  Station  Washington 
Square,  1869-1880."  Facing  Columbus  Avenue  is  the  VOLUNTEER 
FIREMEN'S  MONUMENT  (Haig  Patigian,  sculptor),  a  bronze  group  of 
three  volunteer  firemen — one  holding  a  supine  woman  in  his  arms — 
dedicated  to  the  "Volunteer  Fire  Department  of  San  Francisco,  1849- 
1866."  It  was  erected  in  1933  through  a  bequest  of  Lillie  Hitchcock 
Coit.  Washington  Square,  which  served  as  a  campground  for  homeless 
citizens  after  the  1906  holocaust,  occupies  land  donated  to  the  city 
January  3,  1850  by  its  first  mayor,  John  W.  Geary. 

E.  from  Columbus  Ave.  on  Filbert  St. 

124.  The  Roman   Catholic  CHURCH   OF   SS.   PETER  AND 
PAUL,  660  Filbert  St.,  of  concrete  construction,  lifts  its  two  spires 
high  above  the  Italian  district  it  serves.     Its  cornerstone  laid  in  1922  by 
Archbishop  Hanna,  all  but  the  exterior  of  the  church  was  completed  the 
following  year.     In  1939  and  1940  its  facade  again  was  shrouded  in 


248      SAN     FRANCISCO 

scaffolding.  When  finished  the  terra  cotta  exterior  will  be  embellished 
on  each  side  of  the  doorway  by  a  mosaic  of  Dante  at  work  on  his 
Paradiso  and  another  of  Columbus  landing  in  America.  In  the  ornate 
interior  seating  1,000,  the  Roman  altar  and  many  gilded  images  reflect 
the  soft  light  'filtering  from  the  stained  glass  windows.  Brought  from 
Italy,  the  richly  ornate  altar,  inlaid  with  mosaic  and  framed  in  white 
Carrara  marble,  bears  a  sculptured  reproduction  of  Leonardo  da  Vinci's 
The  Last  Supper.  The  church's  large  statuary  collection  also  includes 
a  statue  of  patron  saint  John  Bosco  and  a  sixteenth-century  carved  wood 
figure  of  Jesus  Christ. 

Up  Filbert  St.  steps  to  Telegraph  Hill  Blvd.;  N.  from  Filbert  on  Tele- 
graph Hill  (by  motor  f  N.  from  Filbert  on  Stockton  St.  to  Lombard  St.; 
E.  from  Stockton  on  Lombard  to  Telegraph  Hill  Blvd.;  S.  from  Lom- 
bard on  Telegraph  Hill). 

125.  Crowning  the  brow  of  Telegraph  Hill  is  PIONEER  PARK, 
whose  paved  esplanade  and  parkway  command  a  stirring  panorama  of 
the  vast  Bay  and  its  shores  and  the  city  crowding  to  the  edge  of  the 
Peninsula.  Grown  from  loam-filled  crevices  on  the  bare  rocky  summit, 
its  yellow  broom,  cypress  trees,  and  stately  eucalyptuses  bank  in  greenery 
the  base  of  COIT  MEMORIAL  TOWER  (open  Wed.,  Sat.,  Sun.  10-4  and 
8-10;  elevator  25$),  a  slim,  fluted  concrete  column  (Arthur  Brown, 
Jr.,  architect)  whose  glass-enclosed  observation  gallery  is  540  feet  above 
the  waters  of  the  Bay.  The  tower  is  named  for  a  life-long  friend  of 
San  Francisco's  firefighters,  Lillie  Hitchcock  Coit,  who  in  1929  left 
funds  to  the  city  to  be  used  for  a  memorial  to  the  volunteer  firemen  of 
the  1850*8  and  i86o's.  As  a  girl  of  15,  she  had  been  the  mascot  of  the 
crack  Knickerbocker  Company  No.  5.  To  the  end  of  her  life  she  wore 
the  diamond-studded  gold  badge  given  her  by  the  firemen,  whether  she 
attended  a  formal  evening  function  or  an  early  morning  blaze.  Where 
Coit  Memorial  Tower  now  rises  stood,  in  the  middle  of  the  nineteenth 
century,  the  telegraph  station  for  which  the  hill  is  named — "A  place  of 
much  resort"  in  the  fifties,  reminisced  Barry  and  Patten.  ".  .  .  it  was 
good  exercise  to  walk  up  there,  and  the  view  repaid  the  trouble.  There 
were  .  .  .  refreshing  milk-punches  to  be  had  in  the  room  beneath  the 
lookout  on  the  roof,  where  privileged  visitors  could  ascend  and  use  the 
telescope." 

A  landmark  in  the  history  of  government-subsidized  art  are  the 
COIT  TOWER  MURALS,  reflecting  the  contemporary  scene  in  California 
city,  factory  and  field  in  1934*  which  were  the  result  of  the  first  work 
relief  project  for  artists  sponsored  by  the  Federal  government  in  the 
United  States.  Covering  the  walls  of  first  and  second  floors  and  the 
stairway  between  them,  they  were  executed  by  20  members  of  San 


LATIN     QUARTER      249 

Francisco's  art  colony.  On  the  main  floor,  above  the  entrance  to  the 
elevator  room,  a  pair  of  Cyclopian  eyes  look  down  from  Ray  Boynton's 
mural  symbolizing  the  mystic  forces  of  nature,  man  in  search  of 
sustenance,  and  man  in  search  of  wealth.  Other  walls  of  the  first  floor 
graphically  portray  the  characteristic  activities  of  California  life  with 
their  ten-foot  figures  by  Malette  Dean  and  Clifford  Wight;  industrial 
plants  by  Ralph  Stackpole;  a  department  store  interior  by  Frede  Vidar; 
a  San  Francisco  street  by  Victor  Arnautoff;  and  rich  agricultural  fields 
by  Maxine  Albro.  A  library  cross-section  by  Bernard  Zakheim  shows 
readers  scanning  the  headlines  in  contemporary  newspapers.  A  mural 
by  John  Langley  Howard  depicts  unemployed  "snipers"  panning  gold 
and  grim-faced  workers  massed  in  front  of  a  smelter  plant.  The  murals 
in  the  elevator  room,  executed  in  oil,  show  views  from  Telegraph  Hill 
and  rolling  California  landscapes  by  Otis  Oldfield,  Rinaldo  Cuneo,  and 
Moya  del  Pino.  A  spectacular  portrayal  of  the  Powell  Street  hill  by 
Lucien  Labaudt  decorates  the  stairway  walls  ascending  to  the  second 
floor,  where  are  found  illustrations  of  California  sports  and  outdoor  life 
and  Jane  Berlandina's  scenes  of  domestic  life  in  egg  tempera. 

The  MARCONI  MEMORIAL,  at  the  foot  of  the  steps  leading  to  Lom- 
bard Street,  a  modern,  simply  carved  bench  of  Raymond  California 
granite  containing  a  bronze  plaque  (Raymond  Puccinelli,  sculptor)  of 
Guglielmo  Marconi,  was  erected  to  commemorate  the  inventor  of  the 
wireless  in  July,  1939.  A  Latin  inscription  reads:  "Outstripping  the 
lightning,  the  voice  races  through  the  empty  sky." 

N.  on  Telegraph  Hill  Blvd.  to  Lombard  St.;  W.  from  Telegraph  Hill 
on  Lombard  to  Columbus  Ave.;  NW.  from  Lombard  on  Columbus  to 
Taylor  St.;  W .  from  Columbus  on  Taylor. 

126.  Twentieth-century  commercialism  and  Old-World  tradition  go 
hand  in  hand  at  FISHERMAN'S  WHARF,  foot  of  Taylor  St.,  where 
are  moored  in  serried  ranks  the  tiny,  bright-painted  gasoline  boats  of  the 
crab  fishermen  and  the  tall-masted  yo-foot  Diesel-engined  trawlers  of 
the  sardine  fleet.  The  high-sterned  junks  with  square  sails  of  the  Chi- 
nese shrimp  fishermen  who  supplied  the  forty-niners  with  seafood  have 
long  since  disappeared.  The  colorful  craft  of  the  Italians  who  sup- 
planted them — rigged  with  triangular  lateen  sails  like  the  fishing  boats 
of  the  Gulf  of  Genoa  or  the  Bay  of  Naples — have  disappeared  too, 
supplanted  in  turn  by  trim  vessels  powered  with  combustion  engines. 
And  the  fish  markets  to  which  San  Francisco  housewives  once  drove  in 
buggies  have  become  neon-lit  shops  offering  "curb  service"  to  motorists. 
But  the  gulls  still  fight  over  morsels  thrown  into  the  lagoon ;  small  boys 
still  impale  sardine  bait  on  the  troll  lines;  the  oldsters  of  the  crab  fleet 


25O      SAN     FRANCISCO 

still  sit  cross-legged,  mending  their  nets  by  hand  with  long  wooden 
needles. 

Heedless  of  onlookers,  the  sun-browned  fishermen  go  about  their 
work,  tossing  their  fish  from  the  holds  to  the  wharves,  where  they  are 
trundled  off  in  hand  trucks,  hanging  up  their  nets  to  dry  in  great  brown 
festoons,  painting  and  repairing  their  vessels,  haggling  with  fish  buyers. 
Sicilian  in  origin,  many  of  the  barrel-chested  crab  fishermen  sport  the 
tam-o-shanter,  the  knit  jersey,  and  the  heavy  sea  boots  of  their  Mediter- 
ranean homeland. 

The  boats  of  the  crabfishing  fleet,  like  their  larger  sisters  of  the 
sardine  fleet,  are  brightly  painted,  with  blue  and  white  the  predominat- 
ing hues.  During  the  fishing  season  (November  through  August)  the 
crab  fleet  usually  leaves  the  wharf  with  the  tide — between  two  and 
three  o'clock  in  the  morning — bound  for  fishing  grounds  between  three 
and  six  miles  outside  the  gate,  where  each  boat  anchors  within  hailing 
distance  of  its  neighbor.  In  mid-afternoon  they  return,  laden  with  from 
one  to  four  dozen  crabs  apiece,  accompanied  by  screaming  hordes  of 
gulls.  When  not  at  sea,  the  crab  boats  are  anchored  at  the  inner  harbor 
at  Fisherman's  Wharf,  where  the  walks  and  planking  are  often  plastered 
with  nets  drying  in  the  sun. 

Usually  anchored  outside  the  square  lagoon  of  the  crab  fishermen 
are  the  sardine  and  bottom  fish  boats — large  schooners  and  trawlers  with 
deep  after  holds,  their  blue  and  yellow  masts  and  booms  towering  above 
the  smaller  craft.  In  the  sardine  fleet,  Norwegians  and  Slavonians 
predominate — excellent  seamen,  tanned  by  sun  and  wind,  their  faces 
wrinkled.  Powered  with  200  and  3OO-horsepower  Diesel  engines,  the 
vessels  venture  northward  as  far  as  Alaskan  waters  and  southward  to 
Mexican  shores.  The  dark  of  the  moon  between  August  and  February 
is  the  best  time  for  sardine  fishing,  because  the  sardine  schools  then  are 
sighted  most  easily  by  the  iridescent  flash  they  create  as  they  move 
through  the  water.  The  sardine  fishermen  use  the  net  known  as  the 
purse  seine,  which  is  maneuvered  in  a  circle  by  means  of  a  skiff  and  then 
drawn  together  in  much  the  same  fashion  as  a  tobacco  pouch.  The 
bottom  fish  vessels  use  the  paranzella  net,  dragged  between  two  boats, 
which  revolutionized  the  industry  when  Pedro  Costa  introduced  it  in 
1876.  In  these  nets  they  trap  sole,  sand  dab,  rock  cod,  and  flounder — 
which  comprise  90  per  cent  of  their  catch — and  occasionally  starfish, 
octopi,  and  even  sharks.  The  trawlers  of  the  bottom  fish  fleet — which 
number  about  20 — rank  in  size  with  those  of  the  sardine  fleet.  It  was 
the  bottom  fish  fleet  which  first  used  steam-powered  boats,  also  intro- 
duced by  Costa — for  which  reason  sole  were  first  known  around  San 
Francisco  Bay  as  "steamerfish."  More  than  2,000  men  and  350  vessels 
are  engaged  in  the  fishing  industry  throughout  the  year ;  the  annual  catch 
totals  nearly  300  million  pounds.  Ranking  first  in  size  of  catch  is  the 


LATIN     QUARTER      25! 

sardine ;  second,  the  crab.  The  shore  community  at  the  wharf  includes 
blacksmiths,  boatbuilders,  tackle  menders  and  net  repairers,  and  the  dock 
includes  a  marine  service  station  where  the  tanks  of  the  gasoline- 
powered  crab  boats  are  filled.  Fishing  fleet  boats  are  available  for  hire 
at  an  average  cost  of  $3.00  per  person — which  often  includes  cioppino 
(fish  stew)  with  red  wine. 

Along  the  wharfside,  the  sidewalk  is  lined  with  huge  iron  cauldrons 
simmering  over  open  fires  of  boxwood,  where  live  crabs  are  boiled  after 
the  buyer  has  selected  his  choice  from  the  dripping  stacks  on  display. 
Behind  the  kettles  are  squirming  piles  of  lobsters,  trays  of  shrimp  and 
prawns,  shelves  decked  with  rainbow-hued  abalone  shells,  and  little 
turtles  with  brightly  painted  designs  on  their  backs  for  sale  as  souvenirs. 
Automobiles  line  the  curb,  their  occupants  eating  seafood  delicacies 
from  trays.  Other  diners  sit  by  restaurant  windows  looking  out  over 
the  masts  of  the  boats  moored  in  the  lagoon. 


Lords  of  the  Hilltops 

"I  estimate  that  a  dime  dropped  on  the  crest  of  California 
Street  would  gather  speed  enough  to  kill  a  horse  on  Market  Street, 
unless  it  hit  a  Chinaman  on  Grant  Avenue." 

— PHILIP  GUEDALLA 


WHENEVER  the  builders  of  San  Francisco  could  not  go  for- 
ward, they  went  up.  In  Currier  and  Ives'  bird's-eye  view, 
The  City  of  San  Francisco — i8j8,  they  already  had  leaped 
that  crescent-shaped  barrier  of  hills  which  swings  from  Telegraph  Hill 
on  the  northeast  to  Twin  Peaks  in  the  middle  of  the  Peninsula.  Per- 
sistently the  long  files  of  houses  climbed  to  the  crests  and  down  the 
other  side.  Where  the  heights  defied  scaling  even  by  the  cable  car,  the 
city's  uphill  progress  was  facilitated  by  steps. 

No  San  Franciscan  was  amazed  to  behold  even  that  doughty  railroad 
builder,  Collis  P.  Huntington,  being  towed  uphill  to  his  mansion  by  the 
California  Street  grip.  The  pinnacle  to  which  a  man's  rise  in  riches 
might  carry  him  had  a  name  in  those  days — Nob  Hill,  inspired  by  those 
"nabobs"  of  commerce  and  finance  who  looked  down  from  its  crest.  To 
Robert  Louis  Stevenson,  the  "great  net  of  straight  thoroughfares  lying 
at  right  angles,  east  and  west  and  north  and  south  over  the  shoulders 
of  Nob  Hill,  the  hill  of  palaces,  must  certainly  be  counted  the  best  part 
of  San  Francisco.  It  is  there  that  the  millionaires  who  gathered  to- 
gether, vying  with  each  other  in  display,  looked  down  upon  the  business 
wards  of  the  city." 

When  Dr.  Arthur  Hayne,  having  made  a  comfortable  fortune  at 
his  medical  practice,  desired  to  settle  down  with  his  bride,  actress  Julia 
Dean,  he  chose  Nob  Hill  and,  hacking  a  trail  through  the  brush  to  the 
summit,  built  in  1856  a  house  of  wood  and  clay  on  the  future  site  of  the 
Fairmont  Hotel.  A  short  time  later,  a  merchant,  William  Walton, 
erected  a  more  pretentious  dwelling  at  Taylor  and  Washington  Streets. 
Not  until  late  in  the  i86o's,  however,  when  the  mass  exodus  of  the  elite 
from  Rincon  Hill  began,  was  Nob  Hill  populated  extensively. 

Among  the  first  men  of  wealth  to  settle  there  was  Maurice  Dore, 
banker  William  C.  Ralston's  confidante,  who  bought  Walton's  house. 
The  first  palatial  homes  built  by  millionaires — recalled  Amelia  Ran- 
som Neville,  chronicler  of  San  Francisco's  social  elite — -were  Richard 
Tobin's,  "distinguished  by  reason  of  having  what  might  be  termed  a 
hand-picked  library" ;  James  Ben  Ali  Haggin's,  "a  large  gray  mansard 
with  stables  behind  it  where  were  all  the  most  fastidious  horses  one  could 

252 


LORDS     OF     THE     HILLTOPS      253 

desire";  Lloyd  Tevis',  where  "wonderful  parties  were  given  .  .  ." 
Later  William  T.  Coleman  built  "a  white  Roman  villa  in  a  walled 
garden"  and  Senator  George  Hearst,  "a  long  Spanish  palace  of  white 
stucco." 

The  Hill's  inducements  as  a  residential  site  were  greatly  augmented 
by  the  advent  of  the  cable  car  in  the  1 870*8 — that  curious  vehicle  whose 
means  of  locomotion  puzzled  the  visiting  English  noblewoman,  Lady 
Duffus  Hardy,  almost  as  much  as  the  "newly  arrived  Mongolian"  whose 
remarks  she  quoted :  "  'No  pushee,  no  pullee,  no  horsee,  no  steamee ; 
Melican  man  heap  smart.'  " 

And  from  the  summit  of  Nob  Hill  were  rising,  in  the  iSyo's,  those 
"really  palatial  residences,  the  homes  of  the  railway  and  bonanza  kings," 
of  which  Lady  Hardy  wrote.  To  advertise  their  new-found  wealth,  a 
half-dozen  "get-rich-quick"  millionaires — Leland  Stanford,  Mark  Hop- 
kins, and  Charles  Crocker  of  the  "Big  Four" ;  David  Colton,  who  was 
known  as  the  "y2"  of  the  "Big  4^";  James  C.  Flood  of  the  "Nevada 
Four";  and  E.  J.  ("Lucky")  Baldwin — lavished  their  railroad  and 
mining  millions  in  unbridled  display.  Of  wood  treated  to  resemble 
stone  they  built  their  palaces,  and  stuffed  them  with  objets  d'art  im- 
ported from  Europe  in  shiploads.  In  their  ostentation  they  were  any- 
thing but  discreet,  as  they  must  have  realized  when  Dennis  Kearny  led 
an  army  of  "sand-lotters"  up  the  hill  one  autumn  day  in  1877  to  shake 
angry  fists  at  the  mansions.  For  three  decades  the  vainglorious  display 
continued  to  dazzle  all  beholders — until  one  by  one,  the  mansions  burst 
into  blaze  as  fire  swept  the  hill  in  April,  1906. 

Risen  from  the  ashes,  Nob  Hill  continues  to  justify  its  proud  epithet, 
"Hill  of  Palaces."  Where  the  bonanza  mansions  stood,  luxury  hotels, 
aristocratic  clubs,  and  towering  apartment  houses  overlook  the  Bay. 
Fastidious  old  gentlemen  still  reach  their  homes  on  the  heights  by  cable 
car.  Nob  Hill  ladies  out  airing  their  dogs,  doormen  resplendent  in 
uniform  before  gleaming  entrances,  shining  limousines  attended  by 
liveried  chauffeurs  perpetuate  the  traditions  of  the  hill's  golden  age. 
But  the  days  of  reckless  ostentation  passed  with  the  fire;  the  Nob  Hill 
of  today  breathes  an  air  of  subdued  gentility. 

Nob  Hill  was  but  one  of  the  summits  claimed  and  held  by  the  rich. 
As  the  rest  of  the  city  began  to  swarm  around,  the  vanguard  of  the 
"Four  Hundred"  moved  northward  to  Russian  Hill  or  westward  to 
Pacific  Heights,  where  they  could  dwell  surrounded  by  gardens  looking 
down  upon  the  Golden  Gate. 

What  part  the  Russians  played  in  the  naming  of  Russian  Hill 
remains  a  mystery.  According  to  one  legend,  a  colony  of  Russian  farmers 
raised  vegetables  on  its  slopes  for  the  seal  catchers  of  the  Farallones; 
according  to  another,  certain  Russians  of  unknown  identity  were  buried 
there;  and  according  to  still  another,  a  Russian  sailor  of  prodigious 


254      SAN     FRANCISCO 

drinking  habits  fell  into  a  well  on  the  hill,  where  he  drowned.  The 
place  made  its  earliest  appearance  in  the  city's  annals  as  the  site  of  a 
gibbet,  where  on  December  10,  1852,  one  Jose  Forni  was  hanged  in 
the  town's  first  official  execution. 

When  Joseph  H.  Atkinson  built  his  house  in  1853  on  the  south  side 
of  Russian  Hill,  it  stood  alone.  But  Charles  F.  Homer,  a  government 
contractor,  soon  built  next  door;  and  next  to  Homer,  W.  H.  Ranlett 
erected  his  "House  of  Many  Corners."  William  Squires  Clark,  who 
had  constructed  the  town's  first  wharf,  built  the  two-story  house  later 
purchased  by  William  Penn  Humphreys.  And  not  far  away  were 
erected  two  of  the  city's  eight  octagonal  houses. 

One  of  the  first  panoramas  of  the  city,  drawn  and  lithographed 
from  daguerreotypes  made  from  the  summit  of  the  hill  about  1862  by 
C.  B.  Gifford,  shows  a  few  straggling  fences  and  a  handful  of  isolated 
houses  among  unpaved  streets  on  the  hill's  northern  and  southern  slopes. 
From  its  summit  rises  the  "observatory" — somewhat  resembling  an  oil 
well  derrick  with  a  spiraling  stairway — which  Captain  David  Jobson 
erected  in  1861.  From  the  crow's  nest  atop  this  structure  (known  as 
"Jobson's  Folly"),  picnickers  who  had  toiled  uphill  from  Harbor  View 
Park  on  the  Bay  could  survey,  for  25$f,  the  landscape  and  seascape 
through  a  telescope. 

Almost  from  the  beginning,  Russian  Hill  was  the  haunt  of  the  city's 
artists  and  writers.  Of  their  number,  however,  Robert  Louis  Stevenson 
— whose  "homes"  are  almost  as  numerous  as  the  beds  "in  which  George 
Washington  slept" — was  not  one,  although  his  widow  came  here  to  live 
after  his  death.  Ambrose  Bierce's  cynicism  found  vent  there.  Joaquin 
Miller  composed  poetry  there,  as  did  Ina  Coolbrith  and  George  Sterling. 
Frederick  O'Brien  lived  there  when  he  wrote  White  Shadows  of  the 
South  Seas.  There  Peter  B.  Kyne  wrote  many  of  his  "Cappy  Ricks" 
stories,  and  Stewart  Edward  White,  his  novels.  Will  and  Wallace 
Irwin,  in  the  days  when  Will  was  co-editor  with  Frank  Norris  and 
Gelett  Burgess  of  The  Wave,  found  refuge  on  the  hill.  It  was  because 
he  lived  there  that  Burgess  conceived  his  "Ballad  of  the  Hyde  Street 
Grip": 

"Rush  her  at  the  crossings,  catch  her  on  the  rise, 

Easy   round   the   corners   when   the   dust  is   in   your   eyes!" 

Of  the  colony  were  John  Dewey,  before  he  acquired  his  fame  in  the 
East;  Mary  Austin  and  James  Hopper,  before  they  went  to  join  the 
colony  at  Carmel;  Kathleen  and  Charles  Norris,  before  they  deserted 
the  city  for  the  Peninsula.  On  the  crest  of  the  hill,  Rose  Wilder  Lane 
found  inspiration.  And  here  Inez  Haynes  Irwin  wrote  The  California™ 
and  Charles  Caldwell  Dobie,  San  Francisco:  A  Pageant.  Sculptors 


LORDS     OF     THE     HILLTOPS      255 

Douglas  Tilden  and  Haig  Patigian  have  lived  here,  and  the  painter 
Maynard  Dixon. 

In  a  walled  cavern  built  from  an  old  cistern,  "Dad"  Demarest,  high 
priest  of  Russian  Hill's  bohemia  since  1872,  lived  for  two  weeks  after 
the  fire  in  1906 — and  he  still  keeps  it  fitted  up  as  a  den,  "just  in  case." 
Tall  apartment  buildings  began  invading  bohemia's  province  on  the  Hill 
long  ago.  Higher  and  higher  the  newcomers  have  lifted  their  steel-and- 
concrete  shafts.  But  despite  this  invasion,  Russian  Hill  is  still  a  world 
removed,  where  steps  climb  and  brick-flagged  lanes  twine  up  sheer 
heights  between  green  hedges.  Gracious  homes  and  rambling  studios 
perch  among  gardens  spilling  downhill  on  its  slopes.  Among  the  Tudor 
villas  and  the  neo-French  chateaux,  chastely  simple  dwellings  of  plywood 
and  glass  brick,  designed  with  corner  windows  and  sun  decks  to  admit 
sunlight,  air,  and  the  view,  have  begun  to  appear  of  late  years. 

POINTS  OF  INTEREST 

(From  Market  and  Powell  Sts.,  the  Washington  and  Jackson  cable  car 
crosses  Nob  Hill  via  Powell  and  Jackson  Sts.;  from  Market  and  Cali- 
fornia Sts.,  the  California  St.  cable  car  via  California;  from  the  Ferry 
Building,  the  Sacramento  St.  cable  car  via  Sacramento.  From  Market 
and  O'Farrell  Sts.,  the  O'Farrell,  Jones  and  Hyde  Sts.  cable  car  crosses 
Russian  Hill  via  Hyde;  from  the  Ferry  Building,  the  Municipal  Rail- 
way "E"  car  via  Union  St.) 

127.  From  the  verge  of  the  hill,  the  2Ostory  MARK  HOPKINS 
HOTEL,  SE.  corner  California  and  Mason  Sts.,  above  a  triangular 
plaza  entered  between  pylons  and  enclosed  by  balustrades,  lifts  its  bea- 
con-tipped minarets  563   feet  above  sea  level.     Opened  in  December 
1926,  it  looks  down  on  one  of  the  city's  most  magnificent  panoramas. 

Famous  orchestras  broadcast  nightly  beneath  painted  peacocks  flaunt- 
ing their  plumage  on  the  ceiling  of  Peacock  Court.  Adjoining  is  the 
Room  of  the  Dons,  decorated  with  the  murals  of  Maynard  Dixon  and 
Frank  Van  Sloun,  depicting  the  story  of  California  with  its  recurrent 
theme  of  "Golden  Dreams."  "The  Mark"  is  the  scene  of  such  estab- 
lished cults  as  the  Friday  night  dance  and  the  annual  Junior  League 
dance  and  fashion  show. 

To  guests  of  sybaritic  tastes,  the  solid  gold  bathroom  fixtures  of 
several  of  the  tower  apartments  may  recall  the  overwhelming  lavish- 
ness  of  the  mansion  which  railroad  magnate  Mark  Hopkins  built  on  the 
site  in  the  1 870*8.  Presented  after  Hopkins'  death  to  the  San  Francisco 
Art  Association,  the  mansion  became  the  scene  of  extravagant  annual 
Mardi  Gras  balls. 

128.  On  the  foundations  laid  by  James  G.   ("Bonanza  Jim")   Fair 
for  a  Nob  Hill  mansion  which  would  outshine  all  others,  the  FAIR- 


256      SAN     FRANCISCO 

MONT  HOTEL,  California,  Mason,  Sacramento,  and  Powell  Sts., 
rears  its  lordly  pile  of  white  granite.  Only  the  granite  walls  enclosing 
the  grounds  had  been  built  when  domestic  troubles  interrupted  Fair's 
plans.  To  memorialize  her  father,  "Tessie"  Fair  Oelrichs  undertook 
the  erection  of  a  de  luxe  hotel.  The  Fairmont  stood  complete  but  for 
its  windows — and  crates  of  sumptuous  furnishings  had  been  moved  into 
the  lobby — when  the  fire  of  1906  demolished  everything  but  the  walls. 
Under  the  direction  of  Stanford  White  the  hotel  was  repaired  and 
refurnished,  and  on  April  17,  1907 — one  day  short  of  the  anniversary 
of  the  fire — it  was  opened  with  a  banquet  for  500  guests.  It  at  once 
became  the  resort  of  the  elite,  led  by  Ned  Greenway,  self-appointed 
arbiter  of  the  city's  "Four  Hundred." 

From  a  semicircular  drive  flanked  by  lawns  and  shrubs,  a  porte- 
cochere  leads  to  the  entrance,  marked  by  six  gray  stone  columns  rising 
six  stories  to  the  roof.  From  the  walls  of  the  vast,  white-columned 
lobby,  splashed  with  vivid  red  furnishings,  look  down  panelled  Floren- 
tine mirrors  mounted  in  carved  frames  inlaid  with  gold  leaf,  imported 
from  the  Castello  di  Vincigliata  in  Italy.  From  the  lobby  open  the 
Gold  Room,  scene  of  brilliant  Army  and  Navy  balls;  the  Laurel  Court, 
fashionable  at  tea  time;  and  the  Venetian  Room,  where  guests  dance  to 
"name  bands."  In  the  Circus  Lounge,  against  a  background  of  gold 
leaf,  eight  murals  by  Esther,  Margaret,  and  Helen  Bruton  depict  men 
and  animals  performing  under  the  "big  top."  Popular  Fairmont  diver- 
sions are  swimming  in  the  fresh-water  Terrace  Plunge  (open  10-10} 
and  sun-bathing  on  the  Terrace  Lawn  overlooking  the  Bay. 

129.  The  PACIFIC  UNION  CLUB,  NW.  corner  California  and 
Mason  Sts.,  occupies  the  only  residence  on  the  hill  to  survive  the  fire 
of  '  1906 — the  massive  $1,500,000  Connecticut  brownstone  mansion 
built  by  James  C.  Flood  after  his  return  from  a  trip  to  New  York, 
where  he  was  impressed  by  the  brownstone  mansions  of  the  rich.  Flood's 
"thirty-thousand-dollar  brass  fence,"  recalled  Amelia  Ransome  Neville, 
"flashed  for  the  entire  length  of  two  blocks  on  the  square  .  .  .  and  it 
was  the  sole  task  of  one  retainer  to  keep  it  bright."  The  foundations 
of  the  Flood  fortune  were  laid  in  the  "Auction  Lunch"  kept  by  Flood 
and  his  partner,  W.  S.  O'Brien,  "where  an  especially  fine  fish  stew 
drew  Patrons  from  the  Stock  Exchange  nearby.  Daily  the  proprietors 
heard  talk  of  stocks  and  mining  shares  and  together  decided  to  invest. 
Results  were  overwhelming." 

In  Steve  Whipple's  saloon  on  Commercial  Street  was  founded  the 
Pacific  Club,  first  "gentlemen's  club"  in  San  Francisco,  of  which  Cutler 
McAllister,  brother  of  New  York's  social  arbiter,  Ward,  was  a  founder. 
It  was  amalgamated  eventually  with  the  rival  Union  Club,  founded  in 
1854.  Its  memberships,  restricted  to  100,  pass  like  inheritances  from 


LORDS     OF     THE     HILLTOPS      257 

father  to  son.     Near  Point  Reyes,   in  Marin   County,   members  hunt 
and  fish  in  a  preserve  of  76,000  acres. 

130.  Where  nursemaids  trundle  streamlined  prams  along  the  shrub- 
bery-bordered paths  of  HUNTINGTON  PARK,  California,  Taylor, 
and   Sacramento   Sts.,   Collis  P.   Huntington  used  to  stride   up   to  his 
front  door  from  the  cable  car  stop  on  California  Street.     Huntington 
bought  his  mansion  from  the  widow  of  his  one-time  friend,  David  D. 
Colton,  legal  counsel  for  the  "Big  Four."     After  Colton's  mysterious 
death  in   1878,  the  "Four"  brought  pressure  upon  her  for  the  return 
of  securities  on  the  grounds  that  Colton  had   embezzled   funds   from 
their  properties.     Mrs.  Colton  vindicated  her  husband's  name  by  intro- 
ducing at  a  subsequent  trial  the  famous  "Colton  Letters"  exposing  the 
machinations  by  which  the  four  partners  had  acquired  their  railroad 
properties.      From   his   enemy   in   court,    Huntington   bought    Colton's 
house.     Unlike  the  mansions  of  most  of  his  contemporaries,  the  railroad 
lawyer's  was  in  good  taste,  copied  (wrote  Mrs.  Neville)  "from  a  famous 
white  marble  palace  of  Italy  .  .  ."     Its  site  was  bequeathed  by  Hunt- 
ington's  widow  to  the  city  in  1915. 

131.  Like  those  Gothic  churches  of  the  Middle  Ages  under  con- 
struction for  generations,  GRACE  CATHEDRAL,  California,  Taylor, 
Sacramento,   and  Jones   Sts.,   is  not  finished,   although   its  cornerstone 
was  laid  by  Bishop  William  Ford  Nichols  30  years  ago.     Its  spire — 
from  which  an  illuminated  cross  will  rise  some  day  230  feet  above  the 
hilltop — is  still  a  gaunt  skeleton  of  orange-painted  girders.     The  dream 
which  inspired  its  founders  has  been  nurtured  since   September   1863, 
when    the    Right    Reverend    William    Ingraham    Kip,    first    Episcopal 
Bishop    in    California,    placed    his    Episcopal    Chair    in    Grace    Church 
(founded  1850),  thus  establishing  the  first  cathedral  seat  of  the  Protest- 
ant Episcopal  Church  in  America. 

The  Grace  Cathedral  of  Bishop  Kip's  day  (California  and  Stockton 
Streets)  was  destroyed  in  the  1906  fire.  On  January  27,  1914,  the 
Founders'  Crypt  of  the  new  church  was  opened.  Halted  by  the  War, 
construction  was  resumed  toward  the  end  of  the  next  decade,  to  be 
delayed  again  by  the  economic  depression.  Present  (1940)  completed 
units  include  the  sanctuary,  choir,  north  and  south  transepts,  three  bays 
of  the  nave,  and  the  Chapel  of  Grace.  When  completed  the  north 
tower  will  support  a  carillon  whose  44  bells — weighing  from  twelve 
pounds  to  six  tons  each — were  cast  in  Croydon,  England.  The  carillon 
is  the  gift  of  Dr.  Nathaniel  Coulson. 

The  cathedral  is  340  feet  long  and  119  feet  wide  (across  the  main 
front).  The  towers  rise  158  feet  from  the  street;  the  87-foot-high  nave 
extends  300  feet.  The  use  of  undisguised  concrete  for  the  exterior 
gives  the  massive,  buttressed  walls  an  air  of  enduring  strength.  In  the 
Chapel  of  Grace  are  an  altar  from  tenth-century  France,  an  altar  rail 


258      SAN     FRANCISCO 

of  Travertine  marble,  and  a  reredos  of  fourteenth-century  Flemish 
wood  carving. 

Property  on  which  the  cathedral  stands  was  deeded  to  the  diocese 
by  the  heirs  of  Charles  Crocker,  whose  mansion  stood  here  until  1906. 
Attempting  to  acquire  possession  of  the  whole  block  in  1877,  Crocker 
was  defied  by  a  Mr.  Yung,  whose  home  occupied  a  25-foot  strip  on 
Sacramento  Street.  In  revenge,  Crocker  had  Yung's  property  hemmed 
in  by  a  fence  that  shut  out  the  sunlight.  During  the  ensuing  deadlock 
gripmen  stopped  their  cable  cars  at  the  spot,  hackmen  brought  ogling 
tourists,  and  souvenir  seekers  removed  pickets  from  the  "spite"  fence. 
It  was  not  until  after  the  death  of  the  principals  that  the  Crocker 
family  obtained  the  property. 

132.  Second  oldest  surviving  residence  in  San  Francisco,  the  AT- 
KINSON HOUSE  (private),  1052  Broadway,  was  built  by  Joseph  H. 
Atkinson  and  his  wife  in  1853.     Entered  through  an  iron  gate  from 
the  grass-grown  cobblestones  of  the  street,  the  gray  plaster  two-story 
house  clings  to  the  steep  hillside,  its  narrow  second-story  balconies  level 
with  the  terrace  at  one  side.    Through  creepers  and  ferns  wind  narrow 
brick-flagged  paths.    The  old  house  was  occupied  by  Atkinson's  relatives 
until  recent  years. 

133.  The  OCTAGONAL  HOUSE    (private),   1067  Green  St., 
first  of  a  number  of  such  architectural  oddities  conceived  by  an  early 
Eastern  builder,  has  been  occupied  continuously  by  descendants  of  the 
French  settler,  Feusier,  for  whom  it  was  built  in  1858.     With  every 
room  a  front  room,  the  large  double  windows  on  all  sides  stare  like  so 
many  Argus  eyes  upon  a  world  of  rapid  change. 

134.  Overlooking  the  Golden  Gate  from  the  end  of  a  graveled  walk 
between  interlacing  plane  trees,  half-way  down  the  hill  from  the  Lom- 
bard Street  Reservoir,  the  GEORGE  STERLING  MEMORIAL, 
Hyde,  Greenwich,  and  Lombard  Sts.,  is  a  simple  bench  inlaid  with 
warm-hued  tiles,  dedicated  by  the  Spring  Valley  Water  Company  June 
25,  1928,  "To  Remember  George  Sterling,  1869-1926."     The  bronze 
tablet  is  inscribed  with  a  stanza  from  the  "Song  of  Friendship"  (a  musi- 
cal composition  whose  lyrics  were  written  by  Sterling)  and  a  quotation 
from  the  poet's  "Ode  to  Shelley" : 

"O  Singer,  Fled  Afar! 

The  Erected  Darkness  Shall  But  Isle  the  Star 
That  Was  Your  Voice  to  Man, 

Till  Morning  Come  Again 
And  Of  the  Night  That  Song  Alone  Remain." 

Sterling's  death  by  his  own  hand  marked  for  many  of  his  admirers  the 
passing  of  that  -bohemia  of  which  he  had  been  one  of  the  chief  repre- 
sentatives. 


LORDS     OF     THE     HILLTOPS      259 

135.  An  abandoned  rain-filled  cistern  saved  San  Francisco's  oldest 
surviving  residence,  the  WILLIAM  PENN  HUMPHRIES  HOUSE 
(private),  NE.  corner  Chestnut  and  Hyde  Sts.,  from  the   1906  fire. 
The  owner's  sons  and  neighbors  cleared  the  debris  from  the  unused 
backyard  reservoir  and  drenched  the  house  with  buckets  of  water.    The 
handiwork  of  William  Squires  Clark,  who  built  the  town's  first  wharf, 
the  house  was  constructed  in  1852  of  heavy  white  oak  timbers  brought 
around  the  Horn.     Its  broad  verandas  resemble  the  decks  and  its  third 
story,  the  captain's  bridge  of  a  ship.     Into  the  garden  at  its  feet,  flag- 
stones lead  from  wooden  gates,  one  shadowed  by  a  towering  eucalyptus, 
the  other  by  a  twisted  acacia.    Along  its  western  side  gnarled  cypresses 
border  the  tall  latticed  fence  built  for  a  windbreak.    Honeysuckle  climbs 
about  the  verandas,  weeds  glut  the  yards,  lattices  and  fences  are  falling. 
Like  many  another  ancient   residence,   the  mansion  now  is  a   "guest 
house";  efforts  to  secure  its  purchase  by  the  City  and  County  of  San 
Francisco  for  preservation  as  a  museum  have  been  unsuccessful. 

136.  Above  a  hillside  garden  overlooking  the  Bay  soars  the  tile- 
roofed  tower  of  the  CALIFORNIA  SCHOOL  OF  FINE  ARTS 
(open  Mon.-Sat.  9-4;  Mon.f  Wed.,  Fri.,  7-10  also),  Chestnut  and  Jones 
Sts.,  dominating  the  rambling,  three-story  structure  of  painted  concrete, 
which  surrounds  a  patio  with  a  tiled  fountain  at  its  center.     A  con- 
stantly changing  student  exhibit  of  murals  and  frescoes  covers  the  in- 
terior walls.     In  one  of  the  studios  is  Diego  Rivera's  Age  of  Industry, 
one  of  two  Rivera  murals  executed  in  San  Francisco.     The  school  was 
built  in  1923  by  the  San  Francisco  Art  Association,  from  profits  derived 
by  the  sale  of  the  Mark  Hopkins  property  on  Nob  Hill,  where  since 
1893  it  had  conducted  the  Mark  Hopkins  Institute  of  Art.     It  houses 
the  ANNE  BREMER  MEMORIAL  LIBRARY  (open  to  students  Mon.-Fri. 
10-5) ,  endowed  by  art  patron  Albert  Bender,  which  contains  fine  prints, 
current  art  publications,  and  valuable  books  on  ancient  and  modern  art. 
A  full  program  of  courses  in  fine  and  applied  arts  is  conducted  for  an 
annual  enrollment  of  about  650  students. 


Embarcadero 


".  .  .  that  harbor  so  remarkable  and  so  spacious  that  in  it  may 
be  established  shipyards,  docks,  and  anything  that  may  be 
wished." 

— FATHER  PEDRO  FONT  (1776) 

THE  story  of  San  Francisco  is  largely  the  story  of  its  water  front. 
As  if  it  had  grown  up  out  of  the  sea,  the  original  town  clung 
so  closely  to  the  water's  edge  that  one  might  almost  have  fancied 
its  settlers — newly  landed  from  shipboard,  most  of  them — were  reluctant 
to  take  to  dry  land.  For  years  all  the  city's  traffic  passed  up  and  down 
the  long  wooden  wharves,  sagging  with  business  houses  that  ranged 
from  saloons  to  banks.  Many  of  the  old  ships  lie  buried  now  beneath 
dry  land.  Above  the  level  of  the  tides  that  once  lapped  the  pilings, 
streetcars  thunder.  Even  old  East  Street,  last  of  the  water-front  thor- 
oughfares, has  gone  the  way  of  the  sailing  vessels  which  once  thrust 
proud  figureheads  above  the  wharves'  wooden  bulkheads.  Around  the 
Peninsula's  edge,  from  Fisherman's  Wharf  to  China  Basin,  sweeps  the 
paved  crescent  of  the  2OO-foot-wide  Embarcadero,  lined  with  immense 
concrete  piers.  Where  the  four-masters  and  square-riggers  once  dis- 
embarked, cargo-ships  and  luxury  liners  rest  alongside  vast  warehouses, 
unloading  their  goods  from  all  the  corners  of  the  earth. 

By  night  the  Embarcadero  is  a  wide  boulevard,  dimly  lighted  and 
nearly  deserted,  often  swathed  in  fog.  Its  silence  is  broken  by  the 
lonely  howl  of  a  fog  siren,  the  raucous  scream  of  a  circling  seagull,  or 
the  muffled  rattle  of  a  winch  on  a  freighter  loading  under  floodlights. 
The  sudden  blast  of  a  departing  steamer,  the  far-off  screech  of  freight- 
cars  being  shunted  onto  a  siding  by  a  puffing  Belt  Line  locomotive 
shake  the  nocturnal  quiet.  The  smells  of  copra,  of  oakum,  raw  sugar, 
roasting  coffee  and  rotting  piles,  and  mud  and  salt  water  creep  up  the 
darkened  streets. 

Even  before  the  eight  o'clock  wail  of  the  Ferry  Building  siren,  the 
Embarcadero  comes  violently  to  life.  From  side  streets  great  trucks 
roll  through  the  yawning  doors  of  the  piers.  The  longshoremen,  clus- 
tered in  groups  before  the  pier  gates,  swarm  up  ladders  and  across  gang- 
planks. The  jitneys,  small  tractor-like  conveyances,  trailing  long  lines 
of  flat  trucks,  wind  in  and  out  of  traffic;  the  comical  lumber  carriers, 
like  monsters  with  lumber  strapped  to  their  undersides,  rattle  along  the 
street.  Careening  taxis,  rumbling  underslung  vans  and  drays,  and 
scurrying  pedestrians  suddenly  transform  the  water  front  into  a  traffic- 
thronged  artery. 

260 


«««K««K(C«CC««CCCC«tt>^^^ 


Street  Scenes 


&&<&^^^^^ 


CALIFORNIA  STREET  STILL  CHALLENGES  THE  CABLE  CAR 


CHINESE  NEW  YEAR  CELEBRATION 

CHINATOWN 
CHINESE  CHILDREN  AT  THANKSGIVING  PLAYGROUND  PARTY 


HOTEL 
«&** 


GRANT  AVENUE 


FISHERMAN'S  WHARF 


SS.  PETER  AND  PAUL  CHURCH 


PACIFIC  UNION  CLUB,  MARK  HOPKINS 
AND  FAIRMONT  HOTELS  ON  NOB  HILL 


:>? 


- 


LrMr 


TELEGRAPH  HILL  FROM  THE  PRECIPITOUS  SIDE 


OCTAGONAL  HOUSE  ON  RUSSIAN  HILL.  BUILT  IN  1854 


PACIFIC  HEIGHTS 


K 


MM 
Mil! 


ute*c--      ^t, 

pSS*^ 


EMBARCADERO      26l 

A  never-ending  stream  of  vehicles  brings  the  exports  of  the  Bay 
area  and  the  West  and  the  imports  of  both  the  hemispheres.  Stored 
in  the  Embarcadero's  huge  warehouses  are  sacks  of  green  coffee  from 
Brazil;  ripening  bananas  from  Central  America;  copra  and  spices  from 
the  South  Seas;  tea,  sugar,  and  chocolate;  cotton  and  kapok;  paint  and 
oil ;  and  all  the  thousand  varieties  of  products  offered  by  a  world  market. 
Here,  awaiting  transshipment,  are  wines  from  Portugal,  France,  and 
Germany ;  English  whisky  and  Italian  vermouth ;  burlap  from  Calcutta 
and  glassware  from  Antwerp ;  beans  from  Mexico  and  linen  yarn  from 
northern  Ireland. 

North  of  the  Ferry  Building  dock  the  vessels  of  foreign  lines.  Here, 
too,  are  berths  for  many  of  the  old  stern-wheelers,  and  of  barges  and 
river  boats  of  the  Sacramento  and  San  Joaquin  Rivers  which  bring  to 
San  Francisco  the  products  of  central  California's  great  agricultural 
plains. 

South  of  the  Ferry  Building  dock  the  big  transpacific  passenger 
ships.  Near  China  Basin  are  several  piers  from  which  sail  the  around- 
the-world  boats  of  the  American  President  Line  (formerly  Dollar 
Lines).  Sailing  and  docking  days  bring  a  fleet  of  taxis  to  the  pier  head 
with  flowers,  passengers,  and  dignitaries.  When  the  Pacific  Fleet  is 
anchored  in  Man-o'-War  Row,  the  bluejackets  disembark  from  the  ten- 
ders at  Pier  14. 

Around  China  Basin  and  the  long  narrow  channel  extending  inland 
from  the  Embarcadero's  southern  end  are  railway  freight  yards,  ware- 
houses, and  oil  and  lumber  piers.  Of  the  bridges  that  span  the  channel, 
most  important  is  the  trunnion  bascule  lifting  bridge  at  Third  and 
Channel  Streets,  built  in  1933,  one  of  the  largest  of  its  type.  On  the 
south  side  of  the  channel  entrance  are  the  Santa  Fe  Railway  Company's 
wharves,  with  a  mechanically  adjustable  ramp  that  can  be  raised  or 
lowered  with  the  level  of  the  tide.  To  adjoining  piers  are  moored  many 
large  purse-seiners,  driven  south  by  winter  storms,  whose  home  ports 
include  such  places  as  Chignik,  Nome,  Sitka,  Juneau,  and  Gig  Harbor. 
Fishing  in  southern  latitudes  during  winter,  they  utilize  San  Francisco 
as  their  base. 

Busiest  section  of  the  Embarcadero  is  the  stretch  between  the  Ferry 
Building  and  the  Matson  Line  docks.  Opposite  the  great  concrete  piers 
is  a  string  of  water-front  hotels,  saloons,  cafes,  billiard  parlors,  barber 
shops,  and  clothing  stores.  The  one  sail  loft  which  remains  has  turned 
long  since  to  making  awnings.  In  the  block  between  Market  and  Mis- 
sion Streets  the  atmosphere  of  the  old  water  front  lingers  in  the  saloons, 
lunch  rooms,  and  stores  where  seafaring  men  and  shore  workers  gather. 

As  on  most  American  water  fronts,  store  windows  are  stuffed  with 
dungarees,  gloves,  white  caps,  good  luck  charms,  cargo  hooks,  and 
accordions.  A  tattoo  artist  decorates  manly  arms  and  chests  with 
glamour  girls,  cupids,  and  crossed  anchors.  Gone  today  are  the  bum- 


262      SAN     FRANCISCO 

boatmen,  who  once  climbed  aboard  incoming  ships  from  rowboats  with 
articles  to  sell;  but  peddlers  patrol  the  Embarcadero,  some  pushing 
carts  with  candy  and  fruits,  mystic  charms  and  shoestrings,  lottery  and 
sweepstakes  tickets.  In  many  cafes  or  saloons  a  longshoreman  can  cash 
his  "brass,"  the  small  numbered  metal  token  given  him  for  presentation 
at  the  company  pay  windows.  For  cashing  it,  the  charge  is  usually 
five  cents  on  the  dollar. 

Sealers,  seamen,  longshoremen,  warehousemen — all  have  their  hiring 
halls  and  union  headquarters  in  the  small  area  bounded  by  the  Embar- 
cadero, Market,  Clay,  and  Drumm  Streets,  known  to  seafaring  men 
and  dock  workers  as  the  "Front."  Here  the  men  congregate  between 
shifts  and  between  jobs  awaiting  their  turn  for  new  jobs  handed  out 
through  union  dispatchers.  Their  talk  is  interminably  of  union  con- 
tracts, politics,  jobs,  lottery  tickets,  and  horse  racing.  From  the  various 
hiring  halls  the  men  are  sent  out,  the  longshoremen  sometimes  hurrying 
to  docks  and  ports  as  far  away  as  Crockett  in  Contra  Costa  County 
and  the  seamen  packing  their  suitcases  of  working  "gear"  to  the  ships. 
All  dispatching  is  done  by  rotation:  this  is  the  hiring  hall  system  for 
which  the  men  fought  in  the  1934  maritime  strike. 

The  longshoremen  with  their  white  caps  and  felt  hats,  their  black 
jackets  and  hickory  shirts,  their  cargo  hooks  slung  in  hip  pockets,  out- 
number the  workers  of  any  other  craft  in  the  maritime  industry.  As 
soon  as  a  ship  is  tied  up,  they  go  aboard,  and  as  the  winches  begin  to 
rattle,  unloading  is  under  way.  The  jitney  drivers  pull  up  alongside 
with  their  trucks;  checkers  keep  track  of  every  piece  of  cargo.  Mean- 
while, ship  sealers  are  aboard  cleaning  out  empty  holds,  boiler  tubes 
and  fire  boxes,  painting  sides  and  stacks,  scraping  decks,  and  doing  the 
thousand  jobs  required  to  make  a  vessel  shipshape. 

The  produce  commission  district,  a  stone's  throw  from  the  water 
front  in  the  area  bounded  by  Sacramento,  Front,  Pacific,  and  Drumm 
Streets,  also  bustles  with  activity  in  early  morning.  A  district  of  nar- 
row streets  lined  with  roofed  sidewalks  and  low  brick  buildings,  it  is 
the  receiving  depot  for  the  fresh  produce  that  finds  its  way  into  the 
kitchens,  restaurants,  and  hotels  of  the  city.  Long  before  daybreak — 
in  the  summer,  as  early  as  one  o'clock — trucks  large  and  small  begin 
to  arrive  from  the  country  with  fruits  and  vegetables.  From  poultry 
houses  come  the  crowing  and  cackling  of  fowls  aroused  by  the  lights 
and  commotion.  The  clatter  of  hand-trucking  and  a  babel  of  dialects 
arise.  About  six  o'clock  the  light  delivery  trucks  of  local  markets  begin! 
to  arrive.  By  this  time  a  pedestrian  can  barely  squeeze  past  the  crates, 
hampers,  boxes,  and  bags  along  the  sidewalks. 

The  stacks  of  produce  dwindle  so  rapidly  that  by  nine  o'clock  the 
busiest  part  of  the  district's  day  is  over.  Then  come  the  late  buyers, 
known  as  "cleaners-up,"  to  take  advantage  of  lowered  prices;  street 
peddlers  with  dilapidated  trucks,  and  poverty-stricken  old  men  and 


EMBARCADERO      263 

women,  carrying  bags,  to  search  the  gutters  for  fruit  and  vegetables 
dropped  or  flung  away.  By  afternoon  this  district  is  almost  deserted. 

"San  Francisco  is  the  only  port  in  the  United  States,"  reports  the 
United  States  Board  of  Engineers  for  Rivers  and  Harbors,  "where  the 
water  front  is  owned  and  has  been  developed  by  the  State,  and  where 
also,  the  public  terminal  developments  have  been  connected  with  one 
another  and  with  rail  carriers  by  the  Belt  Line,  owned  and  operated  by 
the  State."  In  1938,  the  State  Board  of  Harbor  Commissioners,  cele- 
brating its  control  of  the  water  front  since  1863,  reported  the  port  of 
San  Francisco  had  "43  piers  available  for  handling  general  cargo;  17.5 
miles  of  berthing  space;  193  acres  of  cargo  space;  terminals  and  ware- 
houses for  special  cargo — a  grand  total  of  1,912  acres  owned  by  the 
State  of  California.  A  shipside  refrigeration  and  products  terminal 
equipped  with  modern  facilities  for  handling  and  storing  agricultural 
products  and  perishable  commodities  in  transit;  a  grain  terminal  for 
cleaning,  grading  and  loading  grain  for  export;  special  facilities  for  the 
promotion  and  development  of  the  fishing  industry  at  Fisherman's 
Wharf;  tanks  and  pipelines  for  handling  Oriental  vegetable  oils  and 
molasses;  fumigating  plants  for  cotton;  lumber  terminals.  The  entire 
water  front  and  adjacent  warehouses  and  industries  are  served  by  the 
State  Belt  Railroad,  which  has  66  miles  of  track  and  direct  connection 
with  all  transcontinental  and  local  railroads.  .  .  .  The  Port's  ensemble 
of  wharves,  piers,  terminals  and  commercial  shipping  facilities  virtually 
as  they  exist  today,  have  been  constructed  during  the  last  28  years  and 
are  valued  at  close  to  $42,000,000.  All  the  facilities  of  the  port  are 
appraised  at  $86,000,000." 

Before  there  was  an  Embarcadero  the  shoreline  of  a  circling  lagoon 
swept  inward  from  Clark's  Point  at  the  base  of  Telegraph  Hill  and 
outward  again  to  Rincon  Point  near  the  foot  of  Harrison  Street.  From 
August,  1775,  when  Lieutenant  Juan  Manuel  de  Ayala  first  sailed  the 
San  Carlos  through  the  Golden  Gate  until  September,  1848,  when  the 
brig  Belfast  docked  at  the  water-front's  first  pile  wharf,  cargoes  were 
lightered  from  vessel  to  shore.  The  favored  landing  place  was  Clark's 
Point,  the  small,  rocky  promontory  sheltering  Yerba  Buena  Cove  on 
the  north,  first  known  as  the  Punta  del  Embarcadero  (Point  of  the 
Landing  Place).  Here  in  September,  1847  William  Squires  Clark 
persuaded  the  Town  Council  to  authorize  construction  of  a  public  pier 
(see  bronze  plaque  on  wall  of  Montevideo  and  Parodi,  Inc.  Building, 
TOO- no  Broadway).  Sufficient  only  to  pay  for  the  pier's  foundations, 
the  $1,000  appropriated  was  exhausted  by  the  following  January.  In 
1848  the  Town  Council  agreed  to  appropriate  $2,000  more  for  con- 
tinuance of  the  work.  This,  when  completed,  was  the  first  wharf  built 
on  piles  on  the  Pacific  Coast  north  of  Panama. 

"The  crowd  of  shipping,  two  or  three  miles  in  length,  stretched 
along  the  water  .  .  ."  wrote  globe-trotter  Bayard  Taylor  before  the 


264      SAN     FRANCISCO 

end  of  1849.  "There  is  probably  not  a  more  exciting  and  bustling 
scene  of  business  activity  in  any  part  of  the  world,  than  can  be  wit- 
nessed on  almost  any  day,  Sunday  excepted,  at  Broadway  Street  wharf, 
San  Francisco,  at  a  few  minutes  before  4  o'clock  p.m.  Men  and  women 
are  hurrying  to  and  fro ;  drays,  carriages,  express  wagons  and  horsemen 
dash  past.  .  .  .  Clark's  Point  is  to  San  Francisco  what  Whitehall  is  to 
New  York." 

First  wharf  for  deep-water  shipping  was  Central  or  Long  Wharf, 
built  along  the  line  of  Commercial  Street,  which  by  the  end  of  1849 
had  been  extended  to  a  length  of  800  feet.  It  was  used  by  most  of 
the  immense  fleet  of  vessels  from  all  the  world  which  anchored  in  the 
Bay  in  the  winter  of  1849-50.  By  October,  1850,  an  aggregate  of 
5,000  feet  of  new  wharves  had  been  constructed  at  an  estimated  outlay 
of  $1,000,000.  The  wharf  building  was  accomplished  in  haphazard 
fashion.  Not  until  May  1851,  when  the  State  legislature  passed  the 
Second  Water  Lot  Bill,  was  the  city  empowered  to  permit  construction 
of  wharves  beyond  the  city  line.  No  less  than  eight  wharves,  however, 
had  been  built  by  this  time.  Nearly  one  half  of  San  Francisco  rose  on 
piles  above  water.  The  moment  a  new  wharf  was  completed,  up  went 
frame  shanties  to  house  a  gambling  den,  provision  dealer,  clothing  house, 
or  liquor  salesman. 

Soon,  however,  more  substantial  structures  were  being  erected.  Of 
these,  perhaps  the  most  famous  was  Meiggs'  Wharf,  built  by  Henry 
Meiggs  in  1853.  From  the  water  line  (then  Francisco  Street)  at  the 
foot  of  Mason  Street,  Meiggs'  L-shaped  pier,  42  feet  wide,  ran  1,600 
feet  north  to  the  line  of  Jefferson  Street  and  360  feet  east.  Long  after 
its  builder  had  absconded  to  Peru  (where  he  made  a  fortune  building  a 
railway  through  the  Andes),  following  discovery  of  his  embezzlement 
of  $800,000  in  city  funds,  the  wharf  was  a  terminal  for  ferryboats 
plying  to  Alcatraz  and  Sausalito.  From  the  foot  of  Sansome  Street, 
in  the  shadow  of  Telegraph  Hill,  ran  the  North  Point  Docks,  built  in 
1853,  where  for  many  years  landed  most  of  the  city's  French  and 
Italian  immigrants. 

The  ten-year  leases  under  which  most  of  the  important  wharves 
operated  expired  in  1863 — and  in  that  year  was  appointed  a  State 
Board  of  Harbor  Commissioners,  which  refused  to  grant  renewals.  Not 
until  1867,  because  of  litigation  with  wharf-owners,  was  the  board  able 
to  proceed  with  harbor  development.  A  channel  60  feet  wide  was 
dredged  20  feet  below  low  tide  level,  in  which  loads  of  rock  dumped 
by  scows  and  lighters  were  piled  up  in  a  ridge  reaching  the  level  of 
mean  low  tide.  On  top  of  the  embankment  were  laid  a  foundation  of 
concrete  and,  on  top  of  the  concrete,  a  wall  of  masonry.  But  the  pro- 
tracted litigation  with  water-front  property  owners,  the  decline  in  ship- 
ping caused  by  competition  of  the  newly  completed  transcontinental 
railroad,  and  the  grafting  of  private  contractors  who  had  undertaken 


EMBARCADERO      265 

to  build  the  sea  wall — all  combined  to  hold  up  the  work.  Within  two 
years  after  construction  had  been  resumed  in  1877,  a  thousand  feet  of 
the  wall  west  of  Kearny  Street  had  been  completed.  From  the  scarred 
eastern  flanks  of  Telegraph  Hill,  long  lines  of  carts  transported  rock. 
In  the  course  of  construction,  tons  of  rock  were  gouged  from  the  hill's 
slopes,  and  tons  more  (more  than  1, 000,000)  were  ferried  from  Sheep 
Island,  off  Port  Richmond.  Not  until  1913  was  the  sea  wall  finally 
completed. 

The  Belt  Line  Railroad  was  first  debated  in  1873,  but  not  until 
1890  was  a  mile-long  line  with  a  three-rail  track  built  for  both  narrow- 
and  standard-gauge  cars.  At  first  confined  to  the  section  north  of 
Market  Street,  the  road  was  extended  southward  in  1912  to  link  the 
entire  commercial  water  front  with  rail  connections  to  the  south  and 
thereafter  westward  through  the  tunnel  under  Fort  Mason  to  the 
Presidio  and  southward  to  Islais  Creek  Channel. 

Revolutionary  as  the  port's  physical  changes  have  been  in  the  past 
century,  no  less  marked  have  been  the  differences  wrought  in  the  lives 
of  the  men  who  earn  their  livelihood  on  its  ships  and  shores.  During 
the  years  after  '49,  "the  Front"  gained  the  reputation  of  being  one  of 
the  toughest  spots  in  the  world.  In  the  last  half  of  the  century  the 
shortage  in  sailors  was  so  great  that  kidnapping  or  "shanghaiing"  was 
practiced.  The  very  expression  "shanghaiing"  originated  in  San  Fran- 
cisco in  the  days  when  voyages  to  Shanghai  were  so  hazardous  that  a 
"Shanghai  voyage"  came  to  mean  any  long  sea  trip. 

Notorious  among  the  crimp  joints  of  the  i86o's  was  a  saloon  and 
boarding  house  conducted  on  Davis  Street  by  a  harridan  named  Miss 
Piggott.  Here  operated  one  Nikko,  a  Laplander  whose  specialty  was 
the  substitution  of  dummies  and  corpses  for  the  drunken  sailors  the 
ships'  captains  thought  they  were  hiring.  Miss  Piggott  had  a  rival  in 
Mother  Bronson,  who  ran  a  place  on  Steuart  Street.  She  would  size  up 
a  likely  customer,  smack  him  over  the  head  with  a  bung-starter,  and 
drop  him  through  a  trap  door  to  the  cellar  below  where  he  awaited 
transfer  to  a  ship. 

Shanghai  Kelly,  a  red-headed  Irishman  who  ran  a  three-story  saloon 
and  lodging  house  at  33  Pacific  Street,  was  probably  the  most  notorious 
crimp  ever  to  operate  in  San  Francisco.  The  tide  swished  darkly  be- 
neath three  trap  doors  built  in  front  of  his  bar.  Beneath  the  trap  doors, 
boats  lay  in  readiness.  Kelly's  most  spectacular  performance  came  in 
the  middle  1870'$.  Three  ships  in  the  harbor  needed  crews.  One  was 
the  notorious  hell-ship  Reefer,  from  New  York.  Kelly  engaged  to  sup- 
ply men.  He  chartered  the  paddle-wheel  steamer  Goliath  and  an- 
nounced a  picnic  with  free  drinks  to  celebrate  his  "birthday."  The 
entire  Barbary  Coast  responded.  Once  in  the  harbor,  Kelly  fed  his 
guests  doped  liquor,  pulled  alongside  the  Reefer  and  the  other  two  ships, 
and  delivered  more  than  90  men. 


266      SAN     FRANCISCO 


During  the  iSQo's  six  policemen  sent  successively  to  arrest  a  Chilean, 
Calico  Jim,  were  kidnapped  in  turn  and  put  aboard  outward  bound 
boats.  Ultimately,  all  six  returned  to  San  Francisco,  swearing  ven- 
geance. The  crimp  had  gone  to  South  America.  The  policemen  raised 
a  fund  and  sent  one  of  their  number  to  Chile  to  wreak  vengeance. 
Having  found  Calico  Jim,  he  pumped  six  bullets  into  him,  one  for  each 
policeman,  and  returned  to  duty. 

The  most  famous  runner  for  sailors'  boardinghouses  was  Johnny 
Devine,  the  "Shanghai  Chicken,"  who  had  lost  his  hand  in  some  scrap 
and  had  replaced  it  with  an  iron  hook.  Devine  was  a  burglar,  footpad, 
sneak  thief,  pimp,  and  almost  everything  else  disreputable.  His  favorite 
stunt  was  to  highjack  sailors  from  other  runners. 

Of  all  that  lively  collection  of  crimps,  highj  ackers,  burglars,  pimps, 
and  ordinary  rascals,  the  least  vicious  —  if  not  the  least  dangerous  — 
seems  to  have  been  Michael  Conner,  proprietor  of  the  Chain  Locker  at 
Main  and  Bryant  Streets.  Deeply  religious,  he  boasted  of  never  telling 
a  lie.  When  ships'  captains  came  seeking  able  seamen,  Conner  could 
swear  that  his  clients  had  experience  —  for  he  had  rigged  up  in  his  back- 
yard a  mast  and  spars  whereon  his  "seasoned  sailors"  were  put  through 
the  rudiments.  On  the  floor  of  his  saloon  was  a  cow's  horn,  around 
which  Conner  would  make  the  seamen  walk  several  times  so  that  he 
might  truthfully  say  they  had  been  "round  the  Horn." 

The  Embarcadero's  reputation  for  toughness  rapidly  is  being  woven 
into  legend,  along  with  the  doings  of  the  pioneers.  San  Francisco's 
water  front  is  no  longer  a  shadowy  haunt,  full  of  unsuspected  perils. 
Today,  it  occupies  a  place  in  the  forefront  of  the  city's  industrial,  com- 
mercial, and  social  life.  The  water-front  men  take  an  informed  interest 
in  civic  affairs  —  and  many  of  them  own  comfortable  homes  out  on  the 
avenues. 

POINTS  OF  INTEREST 

137-  The  MARINE  EXCHANGE  LOOKOUT  STATION, 
Pier  45,  Embarcadero  and  Chestnut  St.,  whose  glassed-in,  hexagon- 
shaped  cubicle,  equipped  with  a  powerful  telescope,  commands  a  sweep- 
ing view  of  the  Golden  Gate,  has  been  called  "The  Eyes  of  the  Har- 
bor." At  the  dock  below  lies  the  launch  Jerry  Dailey,  ready  to  carry 
its  crew  of  old-timers  through  the  Gate  to  meet  incoming  vessels  when- 
ever telephonic  reports  from  the  Marine  Exchange's  other  lookout  sta- 
tion at  Point  Lobos  announce  that  a  vessel  has  been  sighted  on  the 
horizon.  The  lookout  delivers  mail  and  instructions  for  docking, 
receives  cargo  statistics,  running  time,  and  other  marine  news.  Return- 
ing to  the  station,  he  telephones  the  information  to  the  Marine  Ex- 
change, where  news  of  the  ship's  arrival  is  listed  on  the  blackboards. 

Since  its  organization  in  1851,  the  Marine  Exchange  has  kept  its 
day-and-night  watch  for  inbound  ships,  at  first  with  the  aid  of  the 


EMBARCADERO      267 

lookout  station  erected  by  Messrs.  Sweeney  and  Baugh  in  1849  on 
Telegraph  Hill,  to  which  signals  were  relayed  from  the  Point  Lobos 
lookout. 

138.  A  relic  of  the  old  days  is  FLINT'S  WAREHOUSE,  Filbert, 
Battery,  and  Sansome  Sts.,  built  in  1854  when  the  Bay  washed  at  the 
piles  of  the  Battery  Street  wharf.  Originally  two  stories  high,  it  was 


constructed  of  stone  torn  from  near-by  Telegraph  Hill;  but  when  the 
tide  lands  were  filled,  the  first  floor  became  the  basement.  Loading 
beams  that  served  the  sturdy  square-rigged  sailing  ships  of  the  1850*5 
still  hang  above  the  Battery  Street  doorways.  Today,  the  venerable 
structure,  steel-braced  and  patched  with  variegated  brick  but  still 
equipped  with  its  ancient  red  iron  shutters,  is  a  storage  plant  for  auto- 
mobiles. 

139.  One  police  boat,  the  D.  A.  WHITE,  moored  at  Pier  7,  serves 
the  entire  San  Francisco  water  front.  It  is  a  66-foot,  shallow-keeled 
vessel  powered  by  two  Diesel  motors  of  190  horsepower  each  which 
develop  a  speed  of  16  knots;  its  two-way  radio  enables  it  to  keep  in 
contact  with  the  Harbor  Police  Station,  under  whose  jurisdiction  it 


268      SAN     FRANCISCO 

operates.     Chief  duties  include  rescuing  amateur  yachtsmen  from  the 
mud  flats  and  grappling  corpses  from  the  murky  waters  of  the  Bay. 

140.  The  HARBOR  POLICE  STATION,  NE.  corner  Drumm 
and  Sacramento  Sts.,  a  compact,  two-story,  gray  stone  building,  is  head- 
quarters for  police  control  over  the  water-front  area.     One  of  its  main 
concerns  is  thievery  on  the  docks,  commonly  known  as  "poaching  the 
cargo." 

141.  The   HARBOR   EMERGENCY   HOSPITAL,   88  Sacra- 
mento St.,  is  largely  a  field  hospital  for  derelicts.     Here,  prisoners  from 
the  City  Jail  and  water-front  "sherry  bums,"  as  well  as  injured  sailors 
and  longshoremen  receive  treatment  in  two  twelve-bed  emergency  wards. 
The  present  hospital,  at  this  location  since  1926,  is  staffed  by  a  surgeon, 
nurse,  steward,  and  ambulance  driver.    Its  equipment  includes  a  Drinker 
respirator  for  use  in  drowning  cases. 

142.  The  oldest  maritime  organization  on  the  Pacific  Coast  has  its 
headquarters  at  the  BAR  PILOTS  STATION,  Pier  7,  Embarcadero 
and  Broadway;  for  90  years,  from  1850  to  1940,  the  San  Francisco  Bar 
Pilots  have  been  steering  vessels  over  the  San  Francisco  bar  and  through 
the  Golden  Gate  to  anchorage  in  the  Bay.     All  master  mariners,  the 
20  pilots  are   former  sea  captains  of  long  experience  on   the   Pacific 
Coast.    They  maintain  three  auxiliary  schooners  as  pilot  boats,  each  of 
which  carries  an  engineer,  a  boat  keeper,   a  cook,   and  three  sailors. 
Day  and  night  one  of  these  vessels  stands  by,  about  six  miles  off  the 
Golden  Gate,  with  sails  spread  to  keep  an  even  keel  in  high  seas.     Dur- 
ing its  five  days  at  sea,  the  crew  is  on  constant  call.     To  the  schooner 
at  sea,  the  shore  station  reports  ship  movements  by  means  of  a  wireless 
telephone  system — the  only  one  in  the  world  maintained  by  a  pilotage 
service.    Whenever  an  approaching  vessel  requires  a  pilot,  the  schooner 
is  brought  around  to  its  lee.     In  a  small  boat  the  pilot  is  rowed  over 
to  the  inbound  ship.     On  the  bridge  of  the  vessel,  he  takes  charge, 
steering  a  safe  course  into  the  harbor.     Under  the  jurisdiction  of  the 
State  Pilot  Commission,  the  bar  pilots  are  obliged  to  keep  a  24-hour 
watch  on  the  bar  and  to  provide  pilotage  service  without  undue  delay 
to  any  ship  requesting  it. 

143.  More  universally  accepted  as  a  symbol  of  San  Francisco  than 
any  other  single  landmark,  the  FERRY  BUILDING,  Embarcadero 
and  Market  St.,  has  served  to  identify  the  city  in  the  minds  of  countless 
travelers  throughout   the  world.     Before   the   completion   of  the  two 
bridges  across  the  Bay,  this  was  the  gateway  to  San  Francisco,  its  high 
clock  tower  the  most  conspicuous  feature  of  the  skyline  to  passengers  on 
the  lumbering  ferries  which  churned  the  waters  for  nearly  nine  decades. 
In  the  years  immediately  preceding  the  opening  of  train  service  across 
the  San  Francisco-Oakland  Bay  Bridge,  the  long  hallways  of  the  his- 
toric structure  echoed  to  the  footsteps  of  as  many  as  50,000,000  pas- 
sengers in  a  single  year — a  volume  of  traffic  exceeded  only  by  Charing 


EMBARCADERO      269 

Cross  Station  in  London.  For  40  years  the  flower  stand  on  the  ground 
floor  was  a  favored  rendezvous  where  San  Franciscans  met  visiting 
friends  in  the  midst  of  a  hubbub  of  talk,  newsboys'  shouts,  slamming 
taxicab  doors,  and  rumbling  streetcars.  Now  the  stairways  and  cor- 
ridors are  all  but  deserted,  since  only  overland  railroad  passengers  and 
Treasure  Island  pleasure-seekers  come  and  go  from  the  ferry  slips. 

Erected  by  the  State  Board  of  Harbor  Commissioners  (1896-1903) 
on  a  foundation  of  piles  beyond  the  edge  of  the  original  loose-rock 
sea  wall,  the  Ferry  Building  was  hailed  at  its  opening  in  July,  1898 
as  the  most  solidly  constructed  edifice  in  California.  It  was  built  to 
replace  the  old  Central  Terminal  Building  erected  in  1877,  a  wooden 
shed  over  the  three  ferry  slips  operated  by  the  Central  Pacific,  Atlantic 
and  Pacific,  and  South  Pacific  Coast  Railways,  when  the  volume  of 
traffic  across  the  Bay  dictated  an  improvement  in  terminal  facilities. 

Architect  Arthur  Paige  Brown  designed  a  two-story  building  with 
an  arcaded  front  extending  along  the  water  front  for  66 1  feet.  The 
clock  tower,  rising  235  feet  above  the  ground — a  respectable  height  in 
its  day — was  modeled  after  the  famous  Giralda  Tower  of  Spains'  Cathe- 
dral of  Seville.  Like  the  rest  of  the  building,  it  was  faced  with  gray 
Colusa  sandstone  until  the  1906  earthquake  shook  off  the  stone  blocks 
and  they  were  replaced  by  concrete.  Into  the  grand  nave  extending 
the  whole  length  of  the  building  on  the  second  floor  lead  corridors  giv- 
ing access  to  the  upper  decks  of  the  ferryboats. 

For  a  year  after  April  18,  1906,  the  great  hands  of  the  clock  dials 
on  the  tower  pointed  to  5  117 — the  time  at  which  the  earthquake  struck. 
When  first  installed,  the  clock  was  operated  by  a  long  cable  wound  on 
a  drum,  and  a  1 4-foot  pendulum;  it  has  since  been  equipped  to  run  by 
electricity.  Each  of  the  four  2,500-pound  dials  on  the  four  sides  of  the 
tower  measures  23^  feet  in  diameter;  each  of  the  numerals,  2^  feet 
in  height.  The  hour  hands  are  7  and  the  minute  hands  1 1  feet  long. 

Extending  the  entire  length  of  the  grand  nave  on  the  second  floor 
is  a  PANORAMA  MAP  in  relief  of  the  State  of  California,  modeled 
from  United  States  Geological  Survey  maps  by  25  artists,  engineers, 
electricians,  and  carpenters,  who  spent  two  years  (1923-25)  fabricating 
it  from  cardboard,  magnesite,  and  paint  at  a  cost  of  $100,000.  An 
automatic  electric  control  regulates  a  lighting  system  simulating  day- 
light, sunrise,  and  sunset  and  operates  a  miniature  Mount  Lassen  in 
eruption.  The  map  is  600  feet  long  and  18  wide,  on  a  scale  of  6  inches 
to  the  mile.  It  is  backed  by  a  cyclorama  of  the  Sierra  Nevada. 

Opposite  a  huge  mosaic  of  the  Great  Seal  of  California  in  the 
floor  of  the  nave  is  the  mezzanine  stairway  leading  to  the  CALIFORNIA 
STATE  MINING  BUREAU  MINERAL  MUSEUM  (open  Mon.-Fri.  9-5, 
Sat.  9-12),  its  laboratory,  and  the  John  Hammond  Mining  Library  of 
9,000  volumes.  The  museum,  fifth  largest  of  its  type  in  the  United 
States,  contains  specimens  of  minerals  from  every  part  of  the  world, 


270      SAN     FRANCISCO 

facsimiles  of  all  of  the  important  nuggets  unearthed  in  California,  and 
models  of  gold  and  diamond  mines  and  ore  crushers.  The  institution 
has  been  supported  by  the  State  and  by  individual  contributors  ever 
since  its  inception  in  1897.  J-  C.  Davis,  member  of  the  first  board  of 
trustees,  has  been  the  principal  donor. 

Flanking  the  main  entrance  to  the  Ferry  Building  are  two  short 
SECTIONS  OF  BAY  BRIDGE  CABLES,  the  Golden  Gate  Bridge  section  to 
the  north  and  the  San  Francisco-Oakland  Bay  Bridge  section  to  the 
south. 

144.  From  the  NAVY  LANDING,  Pier  14,  Embarcadero  between 
Mission  and  Howard  Sts.,  launches  ply  back  and  forth  between  landing 
stage   and   shipside,    transporting  crowds   of   blueclad    Navy   men   and 
sightseeing  visitors,  whenever  the   United   States   Pacific   Fleet   is  tied 
up  along  "Man-o'-War  Row." 

145.  Alongside    the    two-story    engine    house    of    the    EMBAR- 
CADERO FIRE  DEPARTMENT,  Pier  22,  Embarcadero  between 
Folsom  and  Harrison  Sts.,  are  anchored  one  of  the  harbor's  two  gleam- 
ing red  and  black,  brass-trimmed  fire  boats,  and  one  of  its  two  auxiliary 
tugs.     The  harbor  firefighting  unit  of  23   men   is  maintained  jointly 
by  the  State  Board  of  Harbor  Commissioners  and  the  city.     The  fire 
boats  are  each  equipped  with  monitor  batteries,  more  than  5,000  feet 
of  hose,  and  water  towers  which  can  be  raised  to  a  height  of  55  feet 
above  deck.    They  respond  to  emergency  calls  from  all  parts  of  the  Bay 
and  its  islands. 

146.  Overlooking  the  China  Basin  Channel,  the  STATE  REFRIG- 
ERATION  PLANT,   between   Embarcadero  and  Third   Sts.,   offers 
storage  and  transfer  facilities  for  immense  quantities  of  fresh  fruit  and 
vegetables  awaiting  shipment  to  foreign  markets.     In  the  refrigeration 
plant's  450,000  cubic  feet  of  space,  more  than  200,000  packages  of  fruit 
can  be  precooled  simultaneously.     The   fruit  is  unloaded  from  trucks 
on  a  second-floor  platform  along  the  land  side  and  loaded  aboard  ship 
from  a  platform  on  the  water  side. 

147.  At  the  UNITED  FRUIT  COMPANY  DOCKS,  south  side 
of  China  Basin  Channel  west  of  Third  St.   Bridge,  one  of  the  fruit 
company's  banana  boats  from  Central  America  ties  up  each  Thursday. 
Occasionally,  a  frightened  monkey  or  small  boa  constrictor,  half  frozen 
from  long  hours  in  refrigerated  hatches,  comes  out  of  the  dark  with  the 
fruit.    The  firm  operates  three  freight  and  passenger  steamships  between 
San   Francisco  and   Puerto  Armuelles,   Panama.     Of   Danish   registry, 
the  vessels  are  specially  constructed  for  transporting  bananas,  each  hav- 
ing a  cargo  capacity  of  60,000  stems.     The  unloading  equipment  on 
the   pier   includes   electrically   operated   traveling  conveyors   and    belts. 
Issuing  from  the  vessel's  holds  in  endless  streams,  the  banana  stems  are 
sorted  according  to  degrees  of  ripeness  and  then  loaded  into  refrigerator 
cars.    The  capacity  of  the  unloading  equipment  is  30,000  stems  in  eight 
hours. 


South  of  Market 


".  .  .  from  all  around,  the  hum  of  corporate  life,  of  beaten  bells, 
and  steam,  and  running   carriages,  goes   cheerily   abroad  .  .  ." 

— ROBERT  Louis  STEVENSON 


HISTORY  has  played  fast  and  loose  with  that  great  segment  of 
the  city  which  sprawls  southward  from  Market  Street  to  the 
San  Francisco-San  Mateo  County  line.  Athwart  historic  Rin- 
con  Hill,  fashionable  residential  quarter  of  Gold  Rush  days,  the  stream- 
lined approach  to  the  San  Francisco-Oakland  Bay  Bridge  rises  from  an 
area  of  factories,  machine  shops,  railroad  terminals,  "skid-road"  hotels, 
and  Greek  restaurants.  Westward  from  the  water  front — lined  to 
Hunter's  Point  with  warehouses,  stockyards,  and  shipbuilding  plants — 
the  district  spreads  across  Potrero  Hill  to  the  heights  of  Twin  Peaks, 
Buena  Vista  Park,  Mount  Olympus,  and  Mount  Davidson.  A  broad 
residential  district  whose  most  venerable  landmark  is  Mission  Dolores, 
occupying  a  sheltered  coastal  plain  and  adjacent  hillsides,  "The  Mis- 
sion" is  San  Francisco's  workshop,  where  live  most  of  the  city's  work- 
ing-class population.  Here  were  the  ranchos  of  Spanish  dons,  the 
suburbs  of  the  Argonauts;  but  today  this  is  the  city's  most  "American" 
section,  an  area  as  socially  homogeneous  as  an  Iowa  town. 

POINTS  OF  INTEREST 

148.  Shimmering  green  fingers  of  ivy  cling  to  the  face  of  ST.  PAT- 
RICK'S CHURCH,  Mission  between  Third  and  Fourth  Sts.,  "the 
most  Irish  church  in  all  America."  Considered  to  be  one  of  the  finest 
examples  of  early  Gothic  ecclesiastical  architecture  outside  Europe,  it 
was  rebuilt  after  1906  from  the  charred  shell  of  Old  St.  Patrick's 
(1868).  First  mass  was  celebrated  in  1851  by  Father  John  Maginnis 
in  a  little  room  on  Fourth  and  Jessie  Streets;  from  this  chapel  grew 
St.  Patrick's  Parish,  whose  first  church  building  was  erected  in  1854 
on  the  present  site  of  the  Palace  Hotel. 

To  rebuild  the  gutted  interior  of  the  present  church,  Father  John 
Rogers,  successor  to  its  founder,  brought  from  Ireland  Caen  stone  and 
green  translucent  marble  of  Connemara.  Restored  stained  glass  win- 
dows depict  the  visions  of  St.  Patrick,  the  Four  Apostles,  and  scenes 
from  Irish  mythology.  Irish  artist  Mia  Cranwill  designed  the  main 
altar's  metal  crucifix  inlaid  with  precious  stones  and  the  vestments  of 
cloth-of-gold,  embroidered  in  ancient  Gaelic  patterns. 

271 


272      SAN     FRANCISCO 

149.  Dusty  and  threadbare  is  the  landmark  of  old  SOUTH  PARK, 
Third  between  Bryant  and  Brannan  Sts.,  once  enclosed  by  an  orna- 
mental iron   fence  to  keep  the   "shovelry"   from   the   retreat  wherein 
scions  of  the  Gold  Rush  "chivalry"  scampered  in  seclusion.     Today  it 
is  an  obscure  little  parkway  dominated  by  the  approach  to  the   San 
Francisco-Oakland  Bay  Bridge.     Surrounded  by  cheap  rooming  houses 
and  machine  shops,  only  a  narrow  elliptoid  of  turf  remains  of  the  project 
which  the  enterprising  "Lord"  Gordon  laid  out  in  the  early   1850*8 
after  the  plan  of  London's  fashionable  Berkeley  Square.     Factories  and 
machine  shops  occupy  the  sites  of  the  sedate  Georgian  houses  which 
encircled   the   park.      Here,    among   others,    lived   cattle    king    Henry 
Miller;  the  grandparents  of  Gertrude  Atherton;   Hall   McAllister — 
until  he  lost  his  house  in  a  poker  game  to  a  Captain  Lyons;  Senator 
and  Mrs.  William  M.  Gwin;  and  "Lord"  Gordon's  family.    After  the 
exodus  of  their  fashionable  tenants  in  the  1870*8,  the  abandoned  man- 
sions fell  into  the  hands  of  Japanese  immigrants.     Deterioration,   the 
1906  fire,  and  conversion  to  mundane  uses  have  been  the  fate  of  this 
pioneer  real  estate  development. 

150.  Venerable  MISSION  DOLORES  (adm.  25$  including  cem- 
etery; open  daily  May  to  Sept.  g-$,  Oct.  to  April  9:30-4:30),  Dolores, 
between    Sixteenth   and    Seventeenth    Sts.,    its   heterogeneous    architec- 
ture well  preserved  after  more  than  150  years,  was  founded  by  Padre 
Francisco  Palou.     Father  Palou  has  told  how  the  pioneer  chapel,  dedi- 
cated on  June  29,  1776  to  "our  seraphic  Father  San  Francisco,"  was 
founded  just  five  days  before  the  signing  of  the  Declaration  of  Inde- 
pendence.    With  the  aid  of  sailors  from  the  Spanish  supply  ship  San 
Carlos  "a  building  was  completed  which  .  .  .  was  made  of  wood  plas- 
tered over  with  clay  and  roofed  with  tules.     To  this  was  built  of  the 
same  material  ...  a  church  eighteen  varas  [or  about  fifty  feet]  long. 
Adjoining  it  was,  in  the  rear  of  the  altar,  a  small  room  which  served 
as  a  vestry.     The  church  was  adorned  in  the  best  manner  possible  with 
various  cloths,  flags,  bunting,  and  pendants  from  the  transport  ship." 
Dedicated  on   October   3,    1776,   it  was  formally  opened   October   8. 
Here  were  performed  the  first  marriage,  the  first  baptisms  of  Spaniards 
and  of  Indians,  and  the  first  Christian  burial  on  the   San   Francisco 
Peninsula. 

On  April  25,  1782,  in  the  presence  of  Padre  Jose  de  Murguia  from 
Mission  Santa  Clara,  Lieutenant  Joaquin  Moraga  and  officers  from  the 
Presidio,  and  an  assemblage  of  priests  and  soldiers,  Padre  Palou  laid  the 
cornerstone  of  the  present  church.  "Into  the  sepulcher  of  the  first  said 
stone,"  he  wrote,  "were  placed  the  image  of  our  Holy  Father  San 
Francisco,  some  relics  from  the  bones  of  St.  Pius  and  other  holy  martyrs, 
five  medals  of  various  saints,  and  a  good  portion  of  silver  money  to 
signify  the  Treasures  of  the  Church." 


SOUTH     OF     MARKET      273 

Perhaps  some  of  these  sacred  objects  are  still  buried  beneath  the 
adobe  walls,  four  feet  thick,  which  support  the  old  mission's  low-pitched 
roof  of  brown  tiles  surmounted  by  a  plain  Franciscan  cross.  It  has 
survived  the  years  in  remarkably  good  condition,  marked  neither  by  the 
decay  nor  the  extensive  restoration  which  have  befallen  some  other  Cali- 
fornia missions.  The  main  entrance  of  the  mission  is  flanked  by  pairs 
of  engaged  semi-Doric  columns  resting  on  massive  stylobates,  which 
support  six  pillars  rising  from  the  wooden  balcony  to  the  widely  pro- 
jecting eaves.  Between  the  four  middle  columns,  in  niches  cut  in  the 
wall,  are  hung  with  plaited  rawhide  the  three  bells  brought  from 
Mexico  in  1780 — Bret  Harte's  lyric  "Bells  of  the  Past"  which  once 
summoned  from  field  and  shop  the  Indian  neophytes  to  midday  meals. 
Measuring  22  feet  in  width  and  114  feet  in  depth,  the  mission  is  a 
compact  and  well-proportioned  structure  in  an  architectural  style  whose 
eclectic  Moorish  and  Classic  features  are  conditioned  by  adaption  to 
raw  native  materials  and  primitive  craftsmanship.  The  joints  of  doors 
and  windows  throughout  are  secured  with  manzanita  pegs;  the  struts 
and  ridge-joints  of  the  rafters  are  bound  with  thongs  of  rawhide. 

Approached  by  a  low  flight  of  stone  steps,  its  entrance  is  a  wide 
Roman  arch  with  double  doors  of  panelled  wood.  The  interior  reveals 
Mexican  churriguerresque  design  as  interpreted  by  Indian  craftsmen. 
As  vivid  as  when  painted  by  the  neophytes  a  century  and  a  half  ago 
are  the  triangular  designs  of  alternating  red  and  white  which  cover  the 
ceiling  between  its  heavy  beams.  The  beams  and  sanctuary  arch  bear 
chevrons  of  alternating  red,  yellow,  gray,  and  white,  painted — like  the 
ceiling  decoration — with  vegetable  pigments. 

Hand-carved  are  the  main  and  side  altars  brought  with  other  fur- 
nishings from  Mexico.  In  panels  at  the  bases  of  the  lavender-tinted 
side  altars  are  bas-relief  vases  of  roses  which  suggest  the  Italian  influence 
in  Mexican  rococo  art.  In  churriguerresque  pattern  is  the  large  reredos 
behind  the  main  altar,  with  its  elaborate  niches  and  lavender  panels 
framed  with  ornamental  gilt  scrolls,  garlands,  and  other  conventional 
decoration.  The  door  of  the  revolving  tabernacle  brought  from  Manila 
bears  an  old  Italian-school  painting  of  Christ,  blessing  the  bread  He 
holds  before  a  table  bearing  a  tall  silver  wine  chalice.  Over  the  taber- 
nacle and  the  Crucifixion  are  two  small  paintings  in  oval  frames,  one 
depicting  in  faded  hues  a  cross;  the  other,  a  cross  and  a  soldier's  bare 
arm  and  clenched  hand  upholding  it.  The  monstrance  is  of  French 
origin  dating  from  1757;  Indian  neophytes  made  the  Pascal  candle;  the 
confessional  doors  came  from  Mexico.  In  their  respective  niches  on 
the  reredos  are  the  original  13  statues  of  saints  carved  in  wood,  of  which 
the  St.  Michael  with  staff  and  uplifted  sword  is  the  dominant  figure. 
This  soldier  of  the  cross,  between  Franciscan  and  Dominican  coats  of 
arms,  wears  red  drapery,  gilded  boots,  and  a  green  tunic  with  gilt 


274      SAN     FRANCISCO 

flowers.  A  crowned  figure  of  the  Virgin  stands  to  the  right  of  the 
tabernacle;  an  exquisitely  carved  Mater  Dolorosa,  to  the  left.  In 
brilliant  costume  over  the  right  side  altar  stands  St.  Anthony,  holding 
in  one  hand  a  sheaf  of  lilies  and  in  the  other  an  open  volume  on  which 
rests  a  kneeling  child.  Side  niches  are  occupied  by  kneeling  figures 
of  St.  Francis  Solano  and  San  Juan  Capistrano.  On  the  opposite  altar 
are  represented  St.  Joseph,  St.  Bonaventure,  and  San  Luis  Rey. 

When  all  this  ecclesiastical  furniture  was  installed  is  not  known, 
but  at  the  end  of  1810  the  padres  reported  to  their  superiors  in  Mexico 
the  aquisition  of  the  two  side  altars,  the  statue  of  St.  Michael,  several 
paintings  on  canvas  in  gold  and  silver  frames,  various  silver  vessels,  a 
reliquary,  and  a  pyxsis  for  sick  calls.  Although  the  records  of  the 
mission's  construction  are  incomplete,  it  is  believed  to  have  been  com- 
pleted by  1800.  The  huge  granary,  built  in  1794,  adjoining  a  long 
low  residential  building  of  earlier  construction  which  connected  it  with 
the  church,  appears  in  old  prints  and  photographs  to  form  a  wing  of 
the  main  building.  The  adjacent  pasture  and  grain  field  were  enclosed 
"to  the  distance  of  half  a  league"  by  a  ditch.  In  1795  twenty  adobe 
homes  for  an  equal  number  of  neophyte  families  were  erected.  The 
closing  decade  of  the  eighteenth  century  also  saw  enclosed  in  the  mission 
quadrangle  a  bathhouse,  a  tannery,  and  other  structures. 

For  half  a  century,  says,  Fr.  Zephrin  Engelhardt's  authoritative 
San  Francisco  or  Mission  Dolores,  this  "community  formed  a  kind  of 
co-operative  association,  a  sort  of  Christian  Communism,  of  which  the 
missionaries  were  the  unsalaried  managers  and  the  neophytes  the  bene- 
ficiaries." In  return  for  giving  up  their  liberty  and  such  pagan  customs 
as  polygamy  and  accepting  the  daily  routine  of  religious  services,  the 
converts  were  assured  of  a  regular  diet  and  decent  homes  as  long  as 
they  faithfully  performed  their  baptismal  vows  of  labor  and  devotion. 
"They  were  informed  that  all  the  land  they  occupied  with  the  herds 
belonged  to  themselves;  that  even  to  the  missionaries  nothing  more  was 
due  of  the  property  accumulated  by  the  industry  of  the  neophytes  than 
the  food  and  the  clothing  their  guides  needed;  and  that  eventually, 
when  they  were  capable  of  managing  it,  the  property  acquired  by  the 
community  would  be  turned  over  to  them  exclusively,  as  was  done  in 
Mexico.  .  .  .  The  priests  would  after  that  attend  only  to  their  spiritual 
wants." 

Despite  its  somewhat  unhealthy  site  near  the  marshes  of  Mission 
Creek,  Mission  Dolores  remained  fairly  prosperous  until  its  property 
was  confiscated  for  the  public  domain  by  the  Mexican  government  and 
promptly  granted  to  private  individuals.  During  the  57  years  of  its 
independent  existence  the  Franciscan  Fathers  baptized  6,536  Indians 
and  448  Mexican  children,  married  2,043  Indians  and  79  Mexicans, 
buried  5,187  Indian  and  150  Mexican  dead.  "The  community,"  de- 


SOUTH     OF     MARKET      275 

clares  Fr.  Engelhardt,  "at  the  end  of  the  last  general  report,  December 
31,  1832,  consisted  of  204  Indians  of  all  ages,  which  would  mean  about 
50  families.  The  herds,  on  the  same  date,  consisted  of  5,000  cattle, 
3,500  sheep,  1,000  horses,  most  of  which  were  of  no  use,  and  18  mules. 
Owing  to  the  scarcity  of  able-bodied  neophytes,  the  fields  had  yielded,  in 
the  year  1832,  only  500  bushels  of  wheat,  400  bushels  of  barley,  50 
bushels  of  corn,  and  140  bushels  of  beans  and  peas.  This  harvest  was 
about  two-thirds  of  the  usual  product." 

Twenty-two  years  later  the  Annals  of  San  Francisco  described  the 
mission  as  a  ruined  relic  of  a  bygone  day:  "The  Mission  has  always 
been  a  favorite  place  of  amusement  to  the  citizens^  of  San  Francisco. 
Here,  in  the  early  days  of  the  city,  exhibitions  of  bull  and  bear  fights 
frequently  took  place,  which  attracted  great  crowds;  and  here,  also, 
were  numerous  duels  fought,  which  drew  nearly  as  many  idlers  to  view 
them.  At  present  (1854),  there  are  two  race-courses  in  the  neighbor- 
hood, and  a  large  number  of  drinking  houses.  .  .  .  On  fine  days, 
especially  on  Sundays,  the  roads  to  the  Mission  show  a  continual  succes- 
sion, passing  to  and  fro,  of  all  manner  of  equestrians  and  pedestrians, 
and  elegant  open  carriages  filled  with  ladies  and  holiday  folk."  The 
mission's  career  as  a  "place  of  amusement"  was  a  brief  one,  however, 
for  in  1857  it  was  restored  to  the  Roman  Catholic  archdiocese. 

Enclosed  by  a  white  stuccoed  adobe  wall  with  red  tiles,  adjoining 
the  mission,  the  old  cemetery  is  a  secluded  little  garden  with  clean-swept 
lawns  whose  headstones  and  monuments  evoke  memories  of  another 
era.  Many  of  the  graves  are  unmarked;  others  are  overgrown  with 
tangled  ivy  and  myrtle. 

Among  the  headstone  inscriptions  which  revive  for  San  Franciscans 
their  city's  Spanish  days  is  one  which  reads:  "Aqui  Yacen  los  Restos  del 
Capitan  Louis  Antonio  Arguello.  Primer  Governador  Alta  California 
Bajo  el  Governiero  Mejicano.  Nacio  en  San  Francisco  el  21  de  Junio. 
1784  y  murio  en  el  Mis?no  Lugar  el  2J  de  Marzo.  1830''  (Here  Lie 
the  Remains  of  Captain  Louis  Antonio  Arguello.  First  Governor  of 
Alta  California  Under  the  Mexican  Government.  Born  at  San  Fran- 
cisco June  21,  1784  and  Died  At  the  Same  Place  March  27,  1830). 
"Sacred  to  the  memory"  of  those  victims  of  Vigilante  justice,  Charles 
Cora  and  James  P.  Casey,  are  other  headstones.  Casey's  reads:  "May 
God  Forgive  My  Persecutors."  Buried  also  in  the  cemetery  is  James 
("Yankee")  Sullivan,  early-day  champion  pugilist,  who  while  awaiting 
trial  by  the  Vigilance  Committee  of  1856,  hanged  himself  in  Fort 
Gunnybags.  A  statue  of  Padre  Junipero  Serra  by  Arthur  Putnam  looks 
down  upon  the  west  end  of  the  cemetery.  In  the  center  is  a  large  rock 
shrine,  the  "Grotto  of  Lourdes,"  containing  an  old  redwood  cross — 
erected  in  1920 — which  bears  the  inscription:  "Dedicated  to  the 
Neglected  and  Forgotten  Who  Rest  Here." 


276      SAN     FRANCISCO 

The  "neglected  and  forgotten"  include  mostly  the  5,515  Indians 
interred  here  and  in  the  rear  of  the  mission  between  1777  and  1848. 
The  Burial  Register  of  the  padres  contains  the  short  and  simple  annals 
of  many  a  neophyte  who  died  from  smallpox,  measles,  and  other  epi- 
demics whose  periodic  toll  brought  about  the  establishment  of  the 
"Hospital  Mission"  at  San  Rafael.  Of  the  196  white  persons  recorded 
in  the  old  register,  the  most  notable  is  Lieutenant  Jose  Joaquin  Moraga, 
whose  remains  rest  within  the  sanctuary  of  the  mission  beside  those  of 
the  Very  Reverend  Richard  Carroll,  its  pastor  from  1853  to  1860. 
Beneath  the  paved  courtyard  behind  the  mission  is  buried  Jose  Noe,  last 
Mexican  alcalde  of  Yerba  Buena,  whose  family  headstone  is  set  in  the 
red  tile  floor  within  the  mission  entrance.  Here  too,  is  the  resting  place 
of  William  Leidesdorff,  pioneer  San  Franciscan  who  was  associated 
with  Jacob  Leese  and  Thomas  Larkin  during  the  Bear  Flag  revolt. 

151.  Biggest  dry  dock  on  the  Pacific  Coast  for  vessels  of  the  merchant 
marine  is  the  larger  of  the  two  HUNTER'S  POINT  DRYDOCKS, 
foot  of  Evans  Ave.,  in  which  the  biggest  oceangoing  ships  can  be  lifted 
high  and  dry  for  reconditioning.  In  great  cement-lined  troughs,  the 
rusting  sides  of  a  ship  are  exposed  from  deck  to  keel.  Both  docks  are 
graving  docks,  equipped  to  permit  scraping  of  the  bottoms  as  well  as  the 
sides  of  vessels,  and  both  are  equipped  with  electric  pumps  and  steam 
cranes.  Graving  Dock  No.  2,  built  in  1901,  is  750  feet  long,  has  a 
depth  at  high  water  of  28  feet  6  inches;  Graving  Dock  No.  3,  built  in 
1919,  is  1,020  feet  long,  has  a  depth  at  high  water  of  45  feet  6  inches. 
When  filled,  the  larger  dock  holds  42,000,000  gallons  of  water,  which 
its  four  75O-horsepower  pumps  can  empty  in  nine  and  one-half  hours. 
Only  dock  on  the  Pacific  Coast  for  merchant  marine  vessels  with  a 
draft  of  more  than  24  feet,  Graving  Dock  No.  3  will  accommodate  the 
largest  capital  ships  of  the  United  States  Navy.  After  nearly  five  years' 
agitation  for  acquisition  of  the  docks  as  a  repair  base  for  naval  vessels, 
President  Franklin  D.  Roosevelt  signed  on  June  3,  1939  a  bill  approv- 
ing their  purchase  from  the  Bethlehem  Steel  Company  Shipbuilding 
Division. 

First  dry  dock  at  Hunter's  Point  was  built  in  1868  by  William  C. 
Ralston,  then  a  director  of  the  California  Steam  Navigation  Company, 
upon  the  suggestion  of  civil  engineer  Alexander  Von  Schmidt,  whose 
newly  invented  process  of  drilling  granite  under  water  was  employed 
in  excavating  the  entrance.  The  cavity  was  carved  almost  entirely  out 
of  solid  stone.  From  Puget  Sound,  Ralston  imported  immense  timbers 
to  line  the  excavation.  For  the  keel  blocks,  California  laurel  was  used. 
From  the  Rocklin  quarries  in  the  Sacramento  Valley,  ox  teams  pulled 
enough  huge  granite  blocks  to  cover  13,000  yards.  Cost  of  the  dock, 
including  mechanical  equipment,  was  $1,200,000.  Measuring  465  feet 
in  length,  120  in  width,  and  22  in  depth  at  high  water,  it  was  large 


SOUTH     OF     MARKET      277 

enough  to  accommodate  any  ship  afloat  at  the  time  except  the  Great 
Western.  Before  the  stone  dock  had  been  completed,  Ralston  and  his 
associates,  who  had  formed  the  California  Dry  Dock  Company  with  a 
capital  of  $1,000,000,  already  had  begun  construction  of  a  floating  dry- 
dock  built  of  Oregon  pine.  The  stone  dock  lasted  until  1916,  when  it 
was  removed  and  the  present  Graving  Dock  No.  3  built  on  its  site. 

152.  From  the   foundries  of  the  WEST   COAST  YARDS   OF 
THE    BETHLEHEM    STEEL    COMPANY    SHIPBUILDING 
DIVISION   (private},  Twentieth  and  Illinois  Sts.,  have  come  ships, 
machinery,  dredges,  railroad  locomotives,  and  endless  tons  of  steel  equip- 
ment shipped  to  all  parts  of  the  world.    Origin  of  the  3O-acre  establish- 
ment dates  back  to   1849,  when  Peter  and  James  Donahue  opened  a 
blacksmith  shop  on  Mission  Street,  which  in  1862  became  the  Donahue 
Iron  and  Brass  Company  and  a  few  years  later — when  H.  J.  Booth, 
Irving  M.  Scott,  and  George  W.  Prescott  joined  the  firm — the  Union 
Iron  Works.     The  first  steam  locomotive  built  on  the  Pacific  Coast, 
for  the  old  San  Francisco-San  Jose  Railroad   (1865),  was  constructed 
here.     Between  1865  and  1870  thirteen  railroad  locomotives,  including 
two  3O-tonners,  were  built.     The  plant  manufactured  practically  all 
the  machinery  and  dredges  used  in  California  and  Nevada  gold  fields 
and  shipped  tons  of  equipment  to  Alaska  during  the  Yukon  gold  strike. 

Following  acquisition  in  the  early  i88o's  of  the  present  plant  site, 
the  Union  Iron  Works  began  a  heavy  program  of  shipbuilding.  The 
Olympic,  Admiral  Dewey's  flagship  at  Manila,  and  the  Oregon,  equally 
famous  in  the  Spanish-American  War,  were  built  with  a  speed  and 
thoroughness  that  amazed  Eastern  competitors  and  established  San 
Francisco  as  a  major  shipbuilding  base.  Since  the  Spanish- American 
War  period,  cruisers,  gunboats,  destroyers,  and  submarines  have  been 
built  in  these  yards,  particularly  for  South  American  countries.  When 
the  shipbuilding  boom  of  war  days  collapsed,  the  plant  lapsed  into  a 
semidormant  state.  Nevertheless,  in  the  eleven  years  between  1919 
and  1938  it  constructed  142  vessels,  including  submarines,  oil  tankers, 
freighters,  ferries,  and  passenger  and  freight  ships.  With  the  revival  of 
interest  in  the  merchant  marine,  the  plant  was  modernized  in  1938  in 
anticipation  of  new  orders. 

The  Union  Iron  Works  was  acquired  in  1906  by  the  Bethlehem 
Steel  Company  but  held  to  its  old  name  until  1917,  when  it  became  the 
Bethlehem  Shipbuilding  Corporation  Ltd.;  in  November  1938  it  was 
merged  with  the  parent  company. 

153.  The  two  stone  rollers  on  either  side  of  the  ten-story  building 
housing  offices  of  the  WESTERN   SUGAR  REFINERY   (open  to 
visitors  9-11,  i-j),  foot  of  Twenty-third  St.,  were  made  in  China  for 
use  in  the  "Philippine  primitive  2-roll  Muscovado   Sugar   Mill."     In 
;sharp  contrast  to  a  primitive  mill  is  the  plant  beyond  the  entrance,  one 


278      SAN     FRANCISCO 

of  the  two  cane  sugar  refineries  in  the  West,  equipped  to  produce  2,500,- 
ooo  pounds  of  raw  sugar  within  24  hours.  Working  at  full  capacity, 
the  plant  employs  1,000  men  and  produces  20  different  grades  of  refined 
sugar.  The  Sea  Island  brand  is  the  staple.  The  factory  consumes  daily 
1,500,000  gallons  of  water,  1,600  barrels  of  fuel  oil,  and  8,500,000  feet 
of  natural  gas — as  much  as  is  used  by  the  entire  city  of  Sacramento. 

The  plant,  built  in  1861,  still  utilizes  several  of  the  original  build- 
ings which  survived  the  1906  earthquake.  Claus  Spreckels,  founder  of 
the  firm,  established  his  first  plant  at  Battery  and  Union  Streets  in 
1863.  When  he  died  in  1903  he  had  revolutionized  the  sugar  industry 
in  the  United  States.  His  sons,  John  D.  and  A.  B.  Spreckels,  continued 
the  work  begun  by  their  father  and  expanded  the  San  Francisco  plant 
into  the  present  huge  refinery. 

154.  On  the  peak  of  steep  Buena  Vista  Heights,   heavily  wooded 
BUENA  VISTA  PARK,  with  its  deeply  shaded  nooks  smelling  always 
of  dampness,  was  set  aside  in  1868  as  the  first  plot  of  the  city's  now 
extensively  developed  parks  system.     The  view  from  the  parking  lot 
atop  the  hill  is  far-sweeping.     Beyond  the  line  of  the  East  Bay  shore  are 
the  white  homes  of  Berkeley  and  Oakland;  nearer,  in  the  middle  dis- 
tance,  Yerba   Buena   and   man-made   Treasure    Island.      The    massive 
San  Francisco-Oakland  Bay  Bridge  swings  in  a  graceful  arc  from  shore 
to  island  to  shore.     In  the  foreground  lies  downtown  San  Francisco,  a 
jumble  of  pointed  skyscrapers  and  climbing  streets. 

Mount  Tamalpais,  a  slumberous  dark  blue,  rises  high  above  the 
rolling  Marin  County  hills  across  the  Golden  Gate,  beyond  the  great 
orange-painted  towers  of  the  Golden  Gate  Bridge  rising  high  above  the 
Bay.  Angel  Island  and  Alcatraz  break  the  smooth  blue  waters.  North- 
west, the  water  breaks  white  against  the  rocky  shore  of  Point  Bonita. 

In  the  foreground  lie  the  Western  Addition  and  Haight-Ashbury 
residential  districts,  pierced  by  the  narrow,  wooded  lane  of  the  Pan- 
handle. North  and  west  dark  Strawberry  Hill  rises  out  of  green  Golden 
Gate  Park.  In  the  immediate  foreground  a  portion  of  Kezar  Stadium 
with  its  shelf-like  seats  shines  whitely  in  the  sun  at  the  eastern  end  of 
the  park. 

Bare  of  trees,  the  two  summits  of  Twin  Peaks  point  to  the  sky  in 
the  west.  Tiny  roads  with  yellow  embankments  cross  and  wind  along 
the  mountainsides.  In  the  distant  south  the  rolling  hills  of  the  Bay 
Shore  district  hide  the  horizon,  while  in  the  middle  distance  and  fore- 
ground the  populous  Mission  District  lies  flat,  cut  by  streets  into  severe 
squares.  In  the  immediate  foreground  is  Corona  Heights,  a  bare  peak 
of  rocks,  unimproved,  with  a  great  red  gash  in  the  eastern  slope. 

155.  In  1926  MOUNT  OLYMPUS  was  made  a  city  park.     Ac- 
cording to  legend,  the  hill  received  its  name  from  the  crippled  milk 
peddler  named  Hanrahan,  who  familiarly  was  known  as  "Old  Limpus" 


SOUTH     OF     MARKET      279 

in  the  adjoining  residential  area  in  the  i86o's.  A  partly  ruined  statue, 
The  Triumph  of  Light,  brought  to  this  country  in  1887  by  Adolph 
Sutro,  is  mounted  in  the  tiny  hilltop  square  in  the  geographical  center  of 
the  city;  12  feet  in  height,  it  stands  on  a  pedestal  30  feet  high.  In  the 
Brussels  original  (by  Antoine  Wiertz)  the  standing  woman  holds  a 
torch  in  her  right  hand  and  a  sword  in  her  left;  in  this  copy  the  right 
arm  is  broken  off  at  the  elbow  and  the  left  is  without  a  sword.  Unsub- 
stantiated is  the  popular  story  that  both  sword  and  arm  were  removed 
by  irate  seamen  who  declared  the  statue  threw  them  off  their  course  as 
they  steered  through  the  Golden  Gate. 

The  view  from  Mount  Olympus  is  similar  to  that  from  Buena  Vista 
Park,  but  offers  a  more  complete  picture  of  Twin  Peaks,  with  the  resi- 
dential section  climbing  halfway  up  its  eastern  slopes.  Nearer,  also  to 
the  southwest,  Sutro  Forest  caps  Mount  Sutro.  Northwest  in  the 
distance  is  the  sweeping  lawn  of  Lincoln  Park;  to  the  east,  Buena  Vista 
Park,  encircled  by  the  red-tile-roofed  houses  of  Buena  Vista  Heights. 

156.  The    white,    brick-red,    and    grey    concrete    buildings    of    the 
MEDICAL    CENTER    OF    THE    UNIVERSITY    OF    CALI- 
FORNIA,   Parnassus   and  Third  Aves.,   occupy  a    I3j^-acre   natural 
amphitheater  backed  against  the  dark  eucalyptus  forest  of  Mount  Sutro 
and  Parnassus  Heights.     The  Center   (formerly  known  as  the  Affili- 
ated   Colleges)    includes    the    University    of    California    Hospital    and 
Clinic;  the  Colleges  of  Medicine,  Dentistry,  and  Pharmacy;  a  training 
school  for  nurses  and  the  George  William  Hooper  Foundation  for  Re- 
search supplements  the  work  of  the  school.     Among  the  Foundation's 
notable  achievements  have  been  the  discoveries  of  Vitamin  E  and  Vine- 
thene,  a  new  anesthetic.     Canning  and  fishing  industries  have  profited 
greatly  by  its  discoveries. 

The  colleges  date  from  1862,  when  Dr.  H.  H.  Toland  founded  the 
Toland  Medical  School  in  North  Beach.  In  1872  the  school  became 
affiliated  nominally  with  the  University  of  California,  but  continued  to 
be  supported  by  the  fees  of  medical  students.  In  1895  Adolph  Sutro 
donated  the  present  site,  and  with  money  provided  by  the  State  legis- 
lature several  buildings  were  opened  here  in  1898.  In  1902  the  proper- 
ties were  taken  over  by  the  University  of  California  and  support  of  the 
college  was  assumed  by  the  university. 

Few  private  patients  are  admitted  to  the  3OO-bed  University  of 
California  Hospital,  which  is  maintained  almost  exclusively  for  its 
research  in  medicine  and  surgery.  Those  who  crowd  the  clinic  daily 
come  from  all  parts  of  the  West  Coast,  some  on  funds  supplied  by  the 
State. 

157.  Clarendon  Avenue  passes  through  SUTRO  FOREST,  over  a 
dark  ridge  of  MOUNT  SUTRO  (920  alt.).     Here  Adolph  Sutro  in 
the  late   1870*5 — after  returning  from  the   Comstock   Lode  a  million- 


28O      SAN     FRANCISCO 

aire — purchased  part  of  the  old  Rancho  San  Miguel.  Sutro,  who 
called  his  mountain  "Parnassus,"  planted  trees  here  in  1887,  after  the 
legislature  provided  that  property  converted  into  forest  land  should  be 
tax-exempt  for  five  years.  For  years  he  employed  a  gardener  who  not 
only  tended  these  trees,  but  those  scattered  over  a  I2,ooo-acre  area 
which  included  Mount  Davidson. 

During  Sutro's  lifetime  the  forest  was  open  to  the  public,  but  it  was 
closed  after  his  death  when  fires  started  by  careless  visitors  several  times 
threatened  to  destroy  it.  In  1911  realtors  Baldwin  and  Howell  pur- 
chased 724  acres  for  $1,417,377  and  planned  to  subdivide  the  land  into 
homesites. 

Today  Sutro  Forest  is  a  rough  wildwood  in  the  heart  of  a  modern 
residential  district.  The  ground  is  covered  by  tangled  undergrowth. 
Ivy  clings  to  the  trunks  of  the  tall  eucalyptus  trees  and  sugar  pines. 
Each  spring  it  is  brightly  colored  by  wildflowers  and  blossoming  brush- 
wood. 

158.  Twin   Peaks  Boulevard  encircles  the  TWIN   PEAKS   in   a 
broad  figure  "8."     The  windy  summits  also  are  reached  by  trails  and 
earthen  steps  that  lead  up  steep,  grassy  slopes.     To  the  east  and  south 
can  be  seen  the  bright-colored  roofs  and  smoking  chimneys  of  row  upon 
row  of  apartment  houses,  laced  together  by  a  network  of  streets.    Mount 
Davidson,  topped  by  its  giant  white  cross,  forms  a  somber  pile  against 
the  background  of  the  western  sky.     Beyond  is  the  long  line  of  the 
Pacific.     Distance  lends  a  serene  quality  to  the  Marin  hills  and  bays, 
darkly  blue  in  the  northwest.    The  long  expanse  of  the  East  Bay  shore 
rolls  as  far  as  the  eye  can  reach. 

Legends  cloud  the  history  of  Twin  Peaks.  Once,  said  the  Indians, 
the  mountains  were  one:  man  and  wife.  But  they  quarreled  long  and 
bitterly  and  in  time  the  Great  Spirit  heard  them,  and  with  thunder  and 
lightning  smote  them  in  twain. 

The  Spaniards  called  the  peaks  Los  Pechos  de  la  Choca  ( The 
Breasts  of  the  Indian  Girl)  in  memory,  so  the  story  goes,  of  a  beautiful 
maiden.  She  was  softly  beautiful,  tall  and  slender.  When  one  spoke 
to  her  she  dropped  her  eyes  in  modesty.  N.  P.  Vallejo,  son  of  Mariano 
Vallejo,  in  describing  her  said,  "Never  have  I  seen  a  cultured  maiden 
half  so  fair  as  this  untaught,  uninstructed  daughter  of  the  wilds." 

159.  The     highest     point     in     San     Francisco     is     heavily-wooded 
MOUNT  DAVIDSON  (938  ft.  alt.),  where  on  bright  days  the  sun- 
light filtering  through  the  treetops  throws  bright  patches  of  light  on  the 
grassy  leaf-covered  ground.     From  its  summit  rises  a  great  cross,  illumi- 
nated during  Easter  week,  which  was  dedicated   March  24,    1934  at 
7 130  p.m.,  when  President  Franklin  D.  Roosevelt  pressed  a  golden  key 
that  sent  electrical  impulses  across  the  Nation  to  light  the  floodlights. 
The  cross,  103  feet  in  height,  is  built  of  concrete  and  steel.     Resting 


SOUTH     OF     MARKET      281 

upon  solid  rock,  its  base  contains  a  crypt  in  which  are  relics  from  the 
Holy  Land,  including  a  jug  of  water  from  the  River  Jordan.  The 
concrete  which  seals  the  crypt  itself  was  mixed  with  this  water.  The 
first  of  four  crosses  preceding  the  present  one  was  erected  atop  the 
mountain  in  1923,  the  year  of  San  Francisco's  first  sunrise  Easter  service. 
Each  year  since  thousands  of  people  have  climbed  the  steep  slopes  in  the 
hours  before  dawn  of  Easter  Sunday  to  gather  about  the  cross  for 
services  which,  in  recent  years,  have  been  broadcast  to  the  Nation  over 
radio  hook-ups. 

Once  a  part  of  the  Rancho  San  Miguel,  Mount  Davidson  formed 
part  of  the  I2,ooo-acre  estate  of  Adolph  Sutro.  When  George  David- 
son of  the  Coast  and  Geodetic  Survey  surveyed  it  in  1862,  it  was  known 
as  Blue  Mountain.  It  remained  a  barren  rocky  peak  until  trees  were 
planted  on  its  slopes.  In  1911  A.  S.  Baldwin  purchased  the  mountain 
and  spent  $2,000  in  building  trails  to  its  summit.  In  that  year  too  it 
was  named  Mount  Davidson  in  honor  of  its  early  surveyor. 

When  in  1926  the  encroachment  of  real  estate  subdivision  threatened 
it,  Mrs.  Edmund  N.  Brown,  a  member  of  the  State  Park  Commission, 
secured  the  help  of  the  Commodore  Sloat  Parent-Teachers'  Association 
and  other  public  agencies  in  a  warm  publicity  campaign  which  persuaded 
the  city  to  purchase  26  acres.  The  area  was  dedicated  as  a  city  park  on 
December  20,  1929,  the  8srd  birthday  of  John  McLaren  (see  Golden 
Gate  Park). 


Western  Addition 


".  .  .  monotonous  miles  of  narrow-chested,  high-shouldered, 
limber-jawed  houses  strongly  reminiscent  of  the  scroll-saw  period 
of  our  creative  artistry  .  .  ." 

— IRVIN  S.  COBB 


E£E  the  backyard  of  some  imposing  but  superannuated  mansion, 
the  Western  Addition  is  cluttered  with  the  discarded  furniture 
of  the  city's  Gilded  Age.  It  is  a  curious  district  whose  claim  to 
distinction  is  its  disdain  of  all  pretense.  It  is  not  beautiful,  and  yet 
San  Franciscans  refer  to  it  almost  affectionately  as  "The  Fillmore,"  the 
name  of  its  busiest  thoroughfare,  and  love  it,  as  Charles  Caldwell  Dobie 
says,  "for  its  supreme  grotesqueness." 

Once  it  was  what  its  name  implies — the  "western  addition"  to  the 
old  town — but  now  it  lies  in  the  very  middle  of  the  city.  Its  eastern 
boundary  is  the  broad  traffic-thronged  artery  of  Van  Ness  Avenue, 
"automobile  row."  Westward  it  spreads  as  far  as  Lone  Mountain's 
vanishing  old  graveyards,  once  far  out  of  town  in  a  sandy  brush-grown 
wilderness.  Northward  it  extends  to  the  heights  above  The  Marina, 
and  southward  almost  to  Market  Street. 

The  preposterous  old  houses  built  here  in  the  1870*8  and  i88o's 
when  San  Francisco  was  expanding  westward,  and  spared  by  the  flames 
of  1906,  are  monuments  to  the  bonanza  era.  In  them  the  nouveau  riche 
of  the  Gilded  Age  attempted  to  outdo  the  fantastic  wooden  castles  on 
Nob  Hill.  What  the  jigsaw  and  the  lathe  could  not  accomplish  the 
builders  supplied  with  Gothic  arches  and  Corinthian  pillars,  with  Nor- 
man turrets  crowned  by  Byzantine  domes,  with  mansard  roofs,  balconies, 
gables,  and  stained-glass  windows.  Interiors  were  resplendent  with 
horsehair  divans,  marble-topped  tables,  and  bronze  statuary.  Gaslight 
flickered  in  dim  vestibules  and  up  redwood  staircases.  No  longer  fash- 
ionable, the  old  mansions  have  been  converted  into  boarding  houses  and 
housekeeping  rooms. 

In  the  days  before  the  fire,  while  the  Western  Addition  was  still 
the  abode  of  fashion,  Fillmore  Street  was  a  suburban  center  of  com- 
merce. After  1906  it  had  a  brief  and  sudden  boom.  Before  the  charred 
wreckage  of  Market  Street  could  be  cleared  off  and  stores  rebuilt,  the 
flow  of  commerce  ran  into  Fillmore  Street — and  its  delighted  merchants 
sought  to  keep  it  there.  Arches  supporting  large  street  lamps  were 
erected  over  each  intersection  from  Sacramento  to  Fulton  Street  and  fes- 
tooned with  electric  lights.  Through  five  or  six  years  the  great  days 

282 


WESTERN     ADDITION      283 

lasted,  but  when  Market  Street  reclaimed  its  commercial  prestige  after 
1910,  Fillmore  Street  was  doomed.  Today  its  ornate  arches  are  incon- 
gruous reminders  of  its  hour  of  greatness.  Fillmore  Street,  however,  is 
more  than  a  commercial  thoroughfare.  It  represents  a  way  of  life,  and 
is  the  stronghold  of  San  Francisco's  cosmopolitan  tradition.  Raffish, 
optimistic,  blissfully  vulgar,  Fillmore  Street  keeps  alive  that  inimitable 
social  spirit  of  which  San  Francisco  is  the  larger  expression. 

From  The  Marina,  north  of  the  Western  Addition,  Fillmore  Street 
climbs  the  precipitous  slope  of  Pacific  Heights  scaled  by  two  diminutive 
cable  cars.  Down  the  slope  below  Sacramento  Street  are  stores,  movie 
theaters,  and  restaurants,  a  scene  of  lively  disorder.  Chaste  little 
antique  shops  stand  next  door  to  radio  stores;  hamburger  joints  thrive 
beside  the  austere  facades  of  branch  banks.  Past  the  sidewalk  vegetable 
stands  stroll  housewives,  pinching  grapefruits,  tomatoes,  and  peaches 
with  the  fingers  of  connoisseurs.  At  convenient  intervals  are  neighborly 
little  bars  offering  the  tired  shopper  a  moment's  refreshment  while  the 
understanding  bartender  wheels  her  offspring's  carriage  to  a  quiet  corner 
at  the  end  of  the  counter.  And  day  or  night  pass  laughing  Negroes, 
dapper  Filipino  boys,  pious  old  Jews  on  their  way  to  schule,  sturdy- 
legged  Japanese  high  school  girls,  husky  young  American  longshoremen 
out  for  a  quiet  stroll  with  the  wife  and  kids. 

Near  the  southern  end  of  Fillmore  Street's  lengthy  market  place, 
where  its  noisy  turbulence  gives  way  again  to  prosaic  respectability  at 
the  foot  of  another  hill  clustered  with  turrets,  bay  windows,  and  man- 
sard roofs,  lies  the  city's  Jewish  commercial  center,  the  heart  of  the 
before-the-fire  section,  where  bedizened  old  houses  of  the  i88o's  adver- 
tize housekeeping  rooms  on  grimy  signs.  Yet,  paradoxically,  here  is  a 
gourmet's  paradise;  along  adjacent  blocks  of  Golden  Gate  Avenue  and 
McAllister  Street  the  atmosphere  is  spicy  with  the  odors  of  delicatessen 
shops,  bakeries,  and  restaurants.  In  a  dozen  strange  tongues,  bargain- 
ing goes  on  along  McAllister  Street — San  Francisco's  "second-hand 
row" — for  begrimed  statuary,  ancient  stoves,  Brussels  carpets  with  faded 
floral  patterns,  chamber  pots  and  perambulators,  Dresden  figurines  and 
fishing  tackle,  gilt-framed  oil  landscapes  and  canary  bird  cages.  Gath- 
ered in  this  district  are  a  large  number  of  the  city's  30,000  Jews,  most 
of  them  immigrants  from  eastern  Europe,  many  being  recent  arrivals. 
But  Fillmore  Street's  Jewish  quarter  is  scarcely  representative  of  the 
city's  Jewish  citizenry  as  a  whole.  Not  confined  to  any  one  district, 
profession,  or  mode  of  life,  they  have  played  a  leading  role  in  the  city's 
development  since  the  first  of  them  came  during  the  Gold  Rush.  Scat- 
tered throughout  the  Western  Addition,  as  elsewhere  in  the  city,  are 
numerous  synagogues,  both  orthodox  and  reformed,  and  their  charitable 
institutions  and  fraternal  organizations.  Though  the  city's  Jews  have 


284      SAN     FRANCISCO 

no  native  theater,  they  support  a  Yiddish  Literary  and  Dramatic  Society 
and  numerous  social  clubs,  musical  societies,  and  schools. 

East  of  Fillmore  Street,  north  and  south  of  Post  Street,  is  "Little 
Osaka,"  home  of  a  vast  majority  of  the  city's  7,000  Japanese.  Unlike 
the  Chinese,  they  have  made  almost  no  attempt  to  establish  in  miniature 
the  graceful  scenes  of  their  native  land.  For  the  most  part,  they  have 
simply  moved  in  and  put  up  their  electric  signs  on  faded  facades.  The 
older  generation  still  clings  to  religious  beliefs  and  folkways,  and  schools 
the  second  and  third  generations  in  the  ways  of  the  homeland.  Little 
Osaka's  young  attend  not  only  the  city's  public  schools,  but  also  one  of 
the  colony's  half-dozen  native  schools,  of  which  the  Golden  Gate 
Institute,  on  Bush  Street  near  Buchanan,  is  the  second  largest  in  the 
country.  At  the  Japanese  branch  of  the  Y.W.C.A.,  in  a  modern  build- 
ing on  Sutter  Street  near  Buchanan,  young  girls  practice  cha-no-yuf  the 
age-old  tea  ceremony,  and  ike-bana,  the  ancient  art  of  flower  arrange- 
ment. Young  men  are  taught  jiu-jitsu  and  kendo,  in  which  armor-clad 
participants  fence  with  bamboo  sticks. 

The  Japanese  New  Year  is  celebrated  throughout  the  colony  on 
January  I  when  the  polite  pay  calls  and  partake  of  sake  (rice  wine) 
and  foods  dedicated  to  the  occasion.  On  March  3  the  Doll  Fes- 
tival (Hinamatsuri)  is  observed  with  ceremonious  display  of  ex- 
quisite miniature  figures  dressed  in  the  costumes  of  old  Japan  and  the 
serving  of  flavored  rice,  with  seki-han,  sakura-mochi,  and  rice  dumplings 
wrapped  in  cherry  leaves;  the  display  of  dolls  during  Hinamatsuri  at 
the  downtown  Western  Women's  Club  is  reputed  to  be  the  finest  of  its 
kind  in  America.  The  Birthday  of  Buddha  is  observed  on  the  Sunday 
nearest  April  8  in  the  Japanese  Tea  Garden  (see  Golden  Gate  Park: 
Points  of  Interest}.  The  colony's  other  Buddhist  festival,  observed  as 
well  by  Buddhists  of  other  races,  is  Ura-bon  (Festival  of  Souls),  cele- 
brated with  a  religious  dance  in  the  Buddhist  Church  at  Pine  and  Octavia 
Streets  on  the  Sunday  evening  nearest  to  the  sacred  day.  At  the  cele- 
bration of  Boys'  Day  (Osekku)  on  May  5,  intended  to  inspire  young 
males  to  swim  against  the  current  of  life  with  vigor  and  courage, 
kashiza-nochi  (rice  dumplings  wrapped  in  oak  leaves)  is  served  cere- 
moniously and  native  folk  dances  are  staged. 

In  Little  Osaka's  restaurants  on  Post  and  Sutter,  between  Octavia 
and  Buchanan  Streets,  are  served  such  delicacies  as  soba  and  undon 
(noodles)  ;  roasted  eel  and  rice;  chicken  soup,  amber-clear,  with  sea- 
weed, fish,  or  red  beans;  and  tempura,  concocted  of  deep-fried  fish  and 
prawns  with  such  vegetables  as  leeks,  soya  bean  cake,  gelatin  strings, 
and  bamboo  shoots.  San  Francisco's  Japanese  have  no  native  theater, 
though  occasionally  a  troupe  of  actors  or  dancers  presents  the  dramatic 
art  of  both  modefn  and  old  Japan.  Japanese  music,  played  on  native 
instruments,  may  be  heard  at  the  colony's  various  church  auditoriums 


WESTERN     ADDITION      285 

and  language  schools.  Two  Japanese  daily  newspapers  are  published 
in  the  city,  each  with  its  section  in  English  for  the  benefit  of  younger 
readers.  Imported  Japanese  films,  both  silent  and  vocal,  are  shown  at 
a  local  bookshop. 

Throughout  the  Japanese  settlement  is  scattered  a  Filipino  colony, 
smaller  than  the  quarter  on  upper  Kearny  Street  but  distinguished  by 
the  same  social  features.  Wherever  these  jaunty,  small-statured  people 
congregate  at  social  functions,  the  carinosa,  their  national  dance  which 
resembles  the  tango,  is  danced  to  the  orchestral  accompaniment  of 
bandores,  twelve-stringed  mandolins  of  native  origin.  The  disparity  of 
the  sexes  among  the  city's  3,000  Filipinos  lends  a  pathetic  note  to  their 
social  life. 

West  of  Fillmore  Street  and  south  of  Sutter  Street  live  many 
Russians  although  their  folkways  are  more  apparent  in  their  other  and 
tighter  little  colony  on  Potrero  Hill.  Divided  by  opposing  political 
loyalties,  the  city's  Russians  never  have  created  a  distinctive  colony  of 
their  own.  The  older  immigrants  came  to  escape  the  Tsar,  the  newer 
to  escape  the  Soviet  regime.  The  ways  of  both  are  the  ways  of  exiles 
who  strive  to  keep  alive  the  customs  of  their  forbears  among  alien 
surroundings.  In  the  Western  Addition  the  Russian  residents  are 
chiefly  emigres  from  the  Russian  Revolution.  The  older  generation  is 
defiantly  monarchist  in  politics  and  orthodox  in  religion.  Until  recently 
they  kept  up  the  courtly  ceremonials  of  their  former  life,  appearing  in 
faded  regimentals  of  the  Imperial  Army  to  pay  each  other  elaborate 
respects  over  vodka,  tea,  and  caviar.  Annually  they  squandered  the 
savings  of  a  twelvemonth  on  a  grand  ball  in  honor  of  their  Petrograd 
days.  Easter  is  still  celebrated  as  gaily  as  ever  at  the  Russian  Orthodox 
Church  on  Green  Street  at  Van  Ness  Avenue. 

The  greater  number  of  San  Francisco's  7,000  Negroes  live  in  the 
neighborhood  west  of  Fillmore  between  Geary  and  Pine  Streets.  Among 
them  are  representatives  of  every  State  in  the  Union,  of  Jamaica,  Cuba, 
Panama,  and  South  American  countries.  Of  those  from  the  South,  the 
greater  number  are  Texans  who  arrived  after  the  World  War;  these 
still  celebrate  "Juneteenth,"  Emancipation  Day  for  the  Texas  Negroes, 
who  did  not  learn  of  the  Emancipation  Proclamation  until  June  19, 
1863.  The  colony's  social  life  revolves  around  its  handful  of  bars  and 
restaurants,  its  one  large  and  noisy  night  club,  its  eight  churches  of 
varying  faiths,  and  the  Booker  T.  Washington  Community  Center  on 
Divisadero  Street,  where  trained  social  workers  guide  educational  and 
recreational  activities  for  children  and  adults.  Occasionally,  in  churches 
and  clubs,  are  heard  old  Negro  folk  songs  surviving  the  days  of  slavery. 

With  its  confusion  of  customs  from  half  the  world,  the  Western 
Addition  is  more  entitled  than  any  other  section  of  the  city  to  be  called 


286      SAN     FRANCISCO 

San    Francisco's    International    Quarter.      But    the   Western   Addition 
abhors  labels.    It  is  just  "The  Fillmore,"  and  proud  of  it. 

POINTS  OF  INTEREST 

1  60.  The  stately,  white,  six-story  MASONIC  TEMPLE,  SW. 
corner  Van  Ness  Ave.  and  Oak  St.,  was  dedicated  on  October  13,  1913. 
Of  Romanesque  design  (William  B.  Faville,  architect),  the  building  is 
faced  with  Utah  marble  and  adorned  with  sculptural  decorations  repre- 
senting Biblical  and  allegorical  figures  by  Adolph  A.  Weinman  and 
Ralph  Stackpole.  A  small  rotunda  leads  into  the  main  lobby  of  polished 
gray  and  white  marble.  In  the  large  halls  on  the  second  and  fourth 
floors  are  portraits  of  past  grand  masters,  many  by  Duncan  C.  Blakis- 
ton.  The  great  Commandery  Hall  on  the  third  floor  is  surmounted 
with  a  dome  rising  85  feet  above  the  floor;  two  large  murals  on  religious 
subjects  are  by  Arthur  F.  Matthews. 


.  from  Van  Ness  Ave.  on  Market  St.  to  Haight  St.;  W  .  from 
Market  on  Haight. 

1  6  1.  A  collection  of  frame  and  stucco  structures,  the  five  variously 
styled  buildings  of  SAN  FRANCISCO  STATE  COLLEGE,  main 
entrance  SE.  corner  Haight  and  Buchanan  Sts.,  stand  closely  together 
on  a  two-block  hillside  campus  bare  of  trees.  Above  the  arched  main 
entrance  to  stuccoed,  tile-roofed  Anderson  Hall  is  a  fresco,  Persian  in 
style,  picturing  California  flora  and  fauna.  The  frescoes  depicting  chil- 
dren at  play  on  the  patio  wall  of  the  Frederick  Burk  Grammar  and 
Training  School,  at  the  southeast  corner  of  the  campus,  are  by  Jack 
Moxom  and  Hebe  Daum  of  WPA's  Northern  California  Art  Project. 
A  teachers'  college,  San  Francisco  State  grants  teaching  credentials  in 
kindergarten-primary,  elementary,  and  junior  high  school  fields.  Aver- 
age yearly  attendance  is  slightly  more  than  2,000  students.  The  Fred- 
erick Burk  Training  School,  accommodating  about  450  children,  fol- 
lows a  modern  progressive  philosophy  of  education.  Launched  in  1862 
in  one  room  of  the  city's  only  high  school,  San  Francisco  College  was 
housed  in  the  Girls'  High  School  until  1899,  when  the  Legislature 
provided  for  foundation  of  the  San  Francisco  Normal  School  in  a  red 
brick  building  on  Powell  Street,  between  Clay  and  Sacramento  Streets. 

S.    from    Haight    St.    on    Buchanan    St.    to    Hermann    St.;    W.    from 
Buchanan  on  Hermann. 

162.  The  $1,000,000  UNITED  STATES  MINT  (not  open  to 
public),  Hermann,  Buchanan,  and  Webster  Sts.  and  Duboce  Ave.  (Gil- 


288      SAN     FRANCISCO 

bert  Stanley  Underwood,  architect),  rears  its  fortress-like  walls  from 
the  solid  stone  of  steep  Blue  Mountain.  Constructed  of  steel  reinforced 
with  granite  and  concrete,  the  building's  severe  facades  are  pierced  by 
three  sets  of  windows,  the  middle  tier  barred  with  iron.  Above  and 
between  the  middle  sets  are  large  bas-reliefs  in  concrete  of  United 
States  coins  of  various  denominations.  On  the  first  floor  are  a  marble 
lobby  and  large  storage  vaults  for  gold,  silver,  copper,  and  nickel,  with 
concrete  walls  two  feet  thick.  Second  and  third  floors  hold  offices, 
minting  rooms,  an  assay  laboratory,  and  a  women's  lunch  room.  On  the 
fourth  floor  particles  from  the  vapor  given  off  by  melting  and  refining 
furnaces  is  recovered  in  a  series  of  tubes;  the  vapor  is  electrified  with  a 
75,ooo-volt  current  which  causes  the  metal  particles  to  cling  to  the 
tubes'  sides.  A  guards'  pistol  range  occupies  the  fifth  floor,  and  all 
approaches  to  the  mint  are  covered  by  gun  towers;  the  surrounding 
area  can  be  illuminated  by  batteries  of  floodlights  set  in  the  walls.  A 
network  of  pipes  entering  all  key  points  of  the  building  is  designed  to 
discharge  a  flood  of  tear  gas  at  the  sounding  of  an  alarm.  Both  front 
and  rear  entrances  are  barred  by  electrically  operated  doors  made  of 
heavy  double  steel,  only  one  of  which  can  be  opened  at  a  time ;  the  door 
guarding  the  main  vault  weighs  40  tons. 

163.  The  landscaped  terraces  of  4-acre  DUBOCE  PARK,  W.  end 
of  Hermann  St.,  rise  gradually  to  the  row  of  old-fashioned  frame  dwell- 
ings on  its  western  side;  once  a  mound-dotted  wasteland  on  which  tons 
of  rock  had  been  dumped,  the  park  was  opened  to  the  public  in  1900. 

164.  In  the  city's  western  residential  districts  real  estate  prices  shot 
skyward  when  SUNSET  TUNNEL,  E.  Portal  at  S.  side  of  Duboce 
Park,  was  opened  October  21,  1928,  with  Mayor  James  Rolph  at  the 
controls  of  the  first  streetcar  to  make  the  tunnel  trip.     Piercing  Buena 
Vista  Hill,  the  tunnel  is  4,232  feet  long,  25  feet  wide,  and  23  feet  high. 

N.  from  Hermann  St.  on  Steiner  St. 

165.  In  1860,  Charles  P.  ("Dutch  Charlie")  Duane,  undaunted  by 
threats  of  the  Vigilance  Committee,  fought  for  his  squatter's  rights  to 
ALAMO  SQUARE,  Steiner,  Fulton,  Hayes  and  Scott  Sts.,  12  acres  of 
smooth  green  lawn  and  rustling  pine  and  cypress  trees  on  the  top  of  a 
hill.    Wide  cement  steps  ascend  to  a  palm-fringed  circular  flower  bed, 
and  shrubbery-lined  paths  lead  to  an  adjacent  picnic  grove  and  children's 
playground.     Squatter  "Dutch  Charlie,"  chief  fire  engineer  from  1853 
to  1857,  gained  the  attention  of  the  Vigilance  Committee  of  1851  for 
his  shooting,  two  years  earlier,  of  a  theater  manager.     He  was  later 
exiled  from  the  city  under  penalty  of  death  by  the  Vigilance  Committee 
of  1856  for  the  then  greater  crime  of  stuffing  a  ballot  box.    Returning  in 
1860,  he  waged  an  unsuccessful  suit  until  1877  for  the  property,  which 


WESTERN     ADDITION      289 

had  been  acquired  by  the  city  in  1853.  Refugees  from  the  fire  of  1906 
lived  on  the  hill,  and  some  of  the  victims,  it  is  believed,  were  buried 
here. 


E.  from  Steiner  St.  on  Hayes  St. 

1 66.  The  old  Wesleyan  Methodist  Episcopal  Church  was  converted 
in    1930  into   the   HAYES   VALLEY   RECREATION   CENTER 
AND   COTTAGE    (open  Mon.-Fri.  2:30-5,  7-10;  Sat. -Sun.    10-12, 
7-5),  SE.  corner  Hayes  and  Buchanan  Sts.     Open  to  all  boys  over  14, 
it  provides  facilities  for  indoor  games,  dancing  and  theatricals,  a  camera 
club,  a  band  and  orchestra,  and  study  groups  in  arts,  crafts,  cooking, 
gardening,  and  sewing.     More  than  2,500  children  weekly  attend  the 
center  in  a  district  once  noted  for  its  high  ratio  of  juvenile  delinquency. 
The  property  was  leased  in  1930  through  a  legacy  left  by  Adolph  Rosen- 
berg, merchant  and  philanthropist,  and  established  as  a  recreation  center 
under  the  jurisdiction  of  the  Recreation  Commission. 

N.  from  Hayes  St.  on  Laguna  St. 

167.  Five  days  after  the  1906  fire  the  Board  of  Supervisors  assem- 
bled in  what  was  MOWRY'S  OPERA  HOUSE,  SW.  corner  Grove 
and  Laguna  Sts.,  a  three-story  red-brick  and  frame  building  erected  in 
1879,  on  whose  gaslit  stage  appeared  "Gentleman  Jim"  Corbett  to  be 
acclaimed  for  his  victory  over  John  L.  Sullivan.     At  subsequent  secret 
sessions  of  the  supervisors,  during  which  Abe  Ruef  issued  his  instruc- 
tions, detective  William  J.  Burns  gathered  evidence  leading  to  the  graft 
prosecutions  that  destroyed  the  Ruef  machine.     Since  December,  1906, 
when  it  ceased  to  serve  as  a  city  hall,  the  sturdy  old  building,  with  its 
triangular  wooden  parapet  decorated  with  a  harp  in  bas-relief  and  its 
brick  ground  floor  with  huge  double  doors,  has  been  occupied  by  various 
mercantile  firms. 

1 68.  Sometimes  referred  to  as  San  Francisco's  Hyde  Park,  JEF- 
FERSON SQUARE,  Golden  Gate  Ave.,  Laguna,  Gough,  and  Eddy 
Sts.,  is  noted  for  the  stormy  character  of  its  political  meetings.     On 
pleasant  Sunday  afternoons  every  shade  of  political  and  religious  thought 
is  expounded   in  open-air   forums  by  old-age-pension   advocates,   single 
taxers,  and  fanatical  champions  of  religious  cults.     In   1906  the  park 
was  used  as  a  refugee  camp.    The  park  slopes  downhill,  its  green  sward 
broken  by  tall  eucalyptuses,  evergreens,  and  shrubs  planted  along  grav- 
eled walks.     In  the  playground,  named  for  Margaret  S.  Hayward,  for 
many  years  a  city  recreation  commissioner,  are  tennis  courts,  volley  and 
basketball  courts,  baseball  diamonds  and  stands.     In  the  center  of  the 
park  is  the  low  stucco  building  housing  the  San  Francisco  Fire  Depart- 


2QO      SAN     FRANCISCO 

ment's  Central  Alarm  Station  with  its  aerial  and  high-tension  electric 
transformer  towers.  Situated  in  a  congested  area,  the  park  is  a  favorite 
recreation  center  for  youngsters  of  many  national  groups. 

W '.  from  Laguna  St.  on  Golden  Gate  Ave.  to  Masonic  Ave.;  S.  from 
Golden  Gate  on  Masonic  to  Fulton  St.;  W .  from  Masonic  on  Fu'lton. 

169.  Founded   in    1855    as   St.    Ignatius   Church   and   College,   the 
UNIVERSITY   OF   SAN   FRANCISCO,   Fulton   St.,    Parker   and 
Golden  Gate  Aves.,  stands  beside  St.  Ignatius  Church  on  part  of  the 
site  of  the  Masonic  Cemetery,  one  of  four  burial  grounds  encircling  the 
base  of  Lone  Mountain.     Conducted  by  the  Jesuits,  the  university  is 
open  to  male  students  of  all  denominations;  only  its  law  and  evening 
classes  are  co-educational.     On  the  broad  hillside  campus  stand  the  gray 
three-story  Faculty  Building,  which  houses  the  priests  of  the  teaching 
staff;  the  four-story  Liberal  Arts  Building  of  gray  reinforced  concrete; 
a  one-story,  stucco  tile-roofed  structure  containing  classrooms;  and  the 
sole  surviving  cemetery  structure,  a  small  wooden  edifice  resembling  a 
Greek  temple,   once   the   tomb   of   a   San   Francisco   brewer,   in  which 
students  now  attend   classes.      Offering  liberal   arts,    premedical,   law, 
economics,   and  commerce  and  finance  courses,   the  institution  has   an 
enrollment  of  more  than  1,000  students  and  a  faculty  of  more  than  80. 
Established  as  St.   Ignatius  Church  and  College  in   1855,  it  was  em- 
powered by  the  State  Legislature  in  1859  to  grant  degrees  and  honors. 
The  school  won  fame  in  1874  when  Father  Joseph  Neri,  a  professor, 
introduced  San  Francisco  to  the  arc  light  with  an  exhibition  on  the  roof 
of  the  school  building;  during  the  centennial  celebration  of  American 
Independence  in  1876,  he  strung  three  arc  lamps  of  his  own  invention 
across  Market  Street.     The  university  was  renamed  at  the  request  of 
prominent  San  Franciscans  in  1930. 

170.  Standing  on  Ignatius  Heights,  the  buff-colored  brick  structure 
of    SAINT   IGNATIUS    CHURCH,    NE.   corner    Fulton    St.    and 
Parker  Ave.,  with  its  campanile,  twin  towers,  and  golden  dome  glinting 
in  the  sun,  is  a  San  Francisco  landmark.     Dedicated  in  1914,  the  church 
is  seventeenth-century   Renaissance   in   design    (Charles   Devlin,   archi- 
tect).   The  interior  is  still  unfinished,  with  exposed  loudspeaker  system 
and  racks  bulging  with  religious  tracts.     Under  the  dome  is  the  sanc- 
tuary, bordered  by  fluted  pillars;  above  the  white  marble  altar,  flanked 
by  filigreed  gilt  candelabra,  is  suspended  an  ornate  gold  sanctuary  lamp. 
On  the  right  are  the  altar  of  St.  Joseph  and  the  crucifix ;  on  the  left,  the 
altar  of  the  Blessed  Mother  and  the  pulpit.    The  altars,  both  of  marble, 
stand  against  blue  wall  panels  ornately  filigreed  with  gold.     The  two 
murals  of  the*  altar,  by  Tito  Ridolfi,  are  dedicated  to  St.  Robert  Bell- 
armine  and  depict  the  seventeenth-century  Cardinal  of  Milan  in  two 


WESTERN     ADDITION      29! 

poses.  Ridolfi  also  painted  the  series  of  murals  in  the  frieze  above  the 
colonnades  on  either  side,  depicting  the  14  stations  of  the  cross,  in  which 
Christ  is  shown  in  mediaeval  tradition  wearing  an  under  cloak  of  dull 
red  and  an  outer  cloak  of  dull  blue.  Above  the  frieze  are  round  win- 
dows, to  be  replaced  with  stained-glass  representations  of  Catholic 
scholar  saints;  the  two  installed  depict  St.  Ives,  patron  of  lawyers,  and 
St.  Augustine,  doctor  of  theology.  In  the  campanile  is  the  old  bell,  now 
battered  and  rusty,  that  hung  in  the  original  church  of  1855,  obtained 
from  a  local  volunteer  fire  company  which  had  ordered  it  from  Eng- 
land but  was  unable  to  pay  for  it. 

Saint  Ignatius  Church  was  founded  in  1855,  when  Father  Anthony 
Marachi  dedicated  a  small  wooden  building  in  the  waste  land  of  what 
was  then  known  as  the  Valley  of  St.  Anne,  south  of  Market  Street 
between  Fourth  and  Fifth  Streets.  The  present  buildings,  both  church 
and  college,  were  begun  in  1910  and  completed  in  1914. 

N.  from  Fulton  St.  on  Parker  Ave. 

171.  From  the  top  of  Lone  Mountain,  the  Spanish  Gothic  tower 
of  the  SAN  FRANCISCO  COLLEGE  FOR  WOMEN,  Parker  and 
Masonic  Aves.  and  Turk  St.,  lifts  an  iron  cross  115  feet  above  the 
mountain's  flattened  crest.  A  curving  road  winds  up  from  Turk 
Street,  past  newly  planted  trees,  shrubs  and  flower  beds,  to  the  flight  of 
wide  stone  steps  leading  past  terraced  lawns  to  an  ornamental  arched 
doorway.  The  three-story  building,  Spanish-Gothic  in  design,  has 
vaulted  halls  richly  furnished  with  tapestries,  paintings,  statues,  and 
wood  carvings.  In  the  east  wing  is  the  oak-beamed  library;  its  100,000 
volumes,  the  majority  donated  by  Monsignor  Joseph  M.  Gleason,  pastor 
of  the  St.  Francis  de  Sales  Church  of  Oakland,  include  rare  manuscripts 
and  first  editions.  Here  are  such  rarities  as  the  sermons  of  Pope  St.  Leo 
the  Great ;  a  set  of  wills  and  indentures  covering  the  reigns  of  the  Eng- 
lish sovereigns  from  James  I  to  George  III;  several  papal  bulls,  one 
signed  by  nine  cardinals  who  attended  the  Council  of  Trent  in  1566, 
and  the  second  by  Pope  Pius  V,  before  the  battle  of  Lepanto;  a  copy 
of  the  Nuremburg  Chronicle;  and  what  is  probably  the  most  complete 
collection  of  bookplates  in  the  United  States.  Americana  include  a 
newspaper  published  in  the  South  on  wallpaper  during  the  Civil  War, 
an  unpublished  and  autographed  poem  by  Henry  Wadsworth  Long- 
fellow, and  letters  written  by  Ulysses  S.  Grant,  Andrew  Jackson, 
Andrew  Johnson,  and  other  notables. 

Having  purchased  Lone  Mountain  in  1860,  Bishop  Joseph  Sadoc 
Alemany,  Roman  Catholic  Archbishop  of  San  Francisco,  had  a  giant 
wooden  cross  erected  on  the  mountain  top.  When  the  city  acquired  all 
"outside  lands"  west  of  the  former  city  boundary  in  1869,  Lone  Moun- 


292      SAN     FRANCISCO 

tain  was  reserved  as  a  future  park  site;  but  Bishop  Alemany,  through 
the  persuasive  abilities  of  his  secretary,  John  Spottiswoode,  succeeded 
in  regaining  title  to  the  property.  The  old  cross  was  replaced  by  a  new 
one  in  1875,  and  in  1900  a  storm  blew  the  great  cross  down,  for  the 
boys  of  the  neighborhood  had  tunnelled  under  its  base  to  make  a  cave 
in  which  they  gathered  to  bake  potatoes  and  banquet  on  other  stolen 
delicacies.  Again  restored,  the  cross  remained  on  the  mountain  top 
until  grading  for  the  college  began  in  1930.  When  Archbishop  Edward 
J.  Hanna  of  San  Francisco  suggested  in  1929  that  a  Roman  Catholic 
women's  college  be  opened  in  San  Francisco,  the  Lone  Mountain  site 
was  purchased  by  the  Society  of  the  Sacred  Heart.  When  construction 
was  completed  in  1932,  the  present  iron  cross  at  the  top  of  the  tower 
replaced  the  cross  erected  in  1900.  The  college  has  increased  its 
enrollment  from  60  to  223  students. 

W '.  from  Parker  Ave.  on  Anza  St.  to  Lorraine  Court;  N.  from  Anza 
on  Lorraine  Court. 

172.  In  the  old  Odd  Fellows  Cemetery  at  the  base  of  Lone  Moun- 
tain, the  only  burial  place  within  the  corporate  limits  of  San  Francisco, 
is   the   SAN   FRANCISCO   MEMORIAL  COLUMBARIUM,    i 
Lorraine  Court,  originally  erected  at  the  entrance  of  the  pioneer  burial 
ground  in  1898.     It  contains  the  cremated  remains  of  more  than  7,000 
San  Franciscans.     Of  modified  Mediterranean  design,  the  green-domed 
building  of  white  concrete  is  noted  for  its  stained-glass  windows.    From 
the   rotunda   marble  stairways  wind   upward;   on   its   four   floors   are 
galleries  of  niches,  each  named  for  a  stellar  constellation.     Following 
removal  of  the  Odd  Fellows  Cemetery  to  Lawndale,  San  Mateo  County, 
the  columbarium  fell  into  neglect  and  decay.   Acquired  by  the  Bay  Cities 
Cemetery  Association  in   1933,  the  structure  has  been  remodeled  and 
restored. 

Retrace  on  Lorraine  Court;  W .  from  Lorraine  Court  on  Anza  St.  to 
Arauello  Blvd.;  N.  from  Anza  on  Arguello. 

173.  Dominating  most  of  the  city's  western   residential  area,   the 
massive  orange-domed  TEMPLE  EMANU-EL,  NW.  corner  Lake  St. 
and  Arguello  Blvd.,  is  the  religious  and  cultural  center  of  Reformed 
Judaism  in  San  Francisco.     Of  steel  and  concrete,  faced  with  cream- 
colored  stucco,  the  temple  (Sylvain  Schnaittaker  and  Bakewell  &  Brown, 
architects)  is  designed  in  the  form  of  an  "L"  about  on  open  court  with 
low  cloisters  and  fountain.    The  auditorium  seats  1,700;  besides  assem- 
bly halls  and  Sunday  school  classrooms,  the  temple  contains  facilities  for 
study  groups  and  lectures,  social  halls,  and  a  huge  gymnasium. 


WESTERN     ADDITION      293 

Set  in  colored  tile  in  the  pavement  before  the  main  entrance  is  the 
familiar  six-pointed  star,  the  Seal  of  Solomon,  surrounded  by  the  seals 
of  the  Twelve  Tribes  of  Israel.  The  vestibule  of  the  auditorium  is  a 
low  vaulted  gallery  finished  in  light  blue  to  contrast  with  the  ivory 
tones  of  the  interior  walls.  In  solitary  splendor,  contrary  to  custom, 
the  Ark  of  the  Covenant,  a  gilded  bronze  cabinet  with  cloisonne  enamel 
inlay,  stands  out  under  its  stone  canopy  against  the  undecorated  walls 
and  vaults  around  the  altar.  It  contains  two  ornate  scrolls  of  the 
Torah,  one  for  regular  services,  the  other  for  special  occasions. 

Like  other  reform  congregations,  Temple  Emanu-El  does  not  require 
observance  of  strict  dietary  laws,  wearing  of  hats  or  skull  caps  by  male 
members,  and  segregation  of  the  sexes  on  opposite  sides  of  the  auditorium 
during  services.  Contrary  to  orthodox  ritual,  music  accompanies  wor- 
ship here.  Some  750  heads  of  families  constitute  the  Temple's  regular 
congregation,  though  attendance  is  much  larger.  An  important  part  of 
the  temple's  program  are  its  classes  for  boys  and  girls. 

E.  from  Arguello  Blvd.  on  Washington  St. 

174.  Tucked  away  in  a  tree-shaded  garden  behind  high  walls  over- 
run with  climbing  vines  and  rose  bushes,  the  little  tiled-brick  ivy- 
bowered  CHURCH  OF  THE  NEW  JERUSALEM  (services  Sun. 
ii  a.m.),  NW.  corner  Jackson  and  Washington  St.,  is  a  reproduction  of 
a  village  church  near  Verona,  Italy.  Surrounding  a  clear  pool  of  water 
are  trees  from  many  lands.  Completed  in  1895,  the  church  is  a  monu- 
ment to  its  founder,  the  Reverend  Joseph  Worcester,  who  lived  in  close 
association  with  the  artists  of  Russian  Hill.  Its  heavy-timbered  cof- 
fered roof  is  supported  by  great  hewn  madrone  trees.  The  square- 
framed,  tule-bottomed  chairs  on  mats  of  rushes  from  the  Suisun  marshes, 
the  open  fireplace  ablaze  with  pine  knots,  and  the  wax  tapers  in  wrought 
iron  sconces  reinforce  the  outdoor  atmosphere.  On  the  windowless 
north  wall  four  allegorical  landscapes  of  seedtime  and  harvest  by  Wil- 
liam Keith  are  set  against  plain  dark-stained  panels  of  pine.  The  two 
beautifully  executed  stained-glass  windows  are  by  Bruce  Porter.  Fol- 
lowing the  doctrines  of  Emanuel  Swedenborg  (1688-1772),  the  simple 
services  are  opened  and  closed  with  a  Bible  ritual. 

S.  from  Washington  St.  on  Lyon  St.  to  California  St.;  W .  from  Lyon 
on  California. 

175-  The  JEWISH  COMMUNITY  CENTER  (open  Mon., 
Thurs.,  Sat.  9:30  a.m.-n  p.m.;  Fri.  9:30-6;  Sun.  9:30-1),  NW.  corner 
California  St.  and  Presidio  Ave.,  is  headquarters  for  communal  activities 
of  Hebrew  organizations.  The  two-story  structure  of  smooth  tan  con- 


294      SAN     FRANCISCO 

crete  with  red  tile  roof  was  opened  in  1933  and  houses  an  art  gallery, 
library  and  reading  rooms,  a  little  theater  workshop,  swimming  pool 
and  gymnasium,  and  classrooms  and  lounges.  The  multicolored  mosaic 
of  glazed  household  tiles  decorating  the  fountain  and  pool  in  the  patio 
is  by  Bernard  Zakheim  of  the  WPA  Northern  California  Art  Project. 
A  fresco  in  the  patio,  also  by  Zakheim,  depicts  the  gaity  and  color  of 
ancient  Palestine's  festivals.  The  educational  program  includes  courses 
in  law,  journalism,  languages,  arts  and  crafts,  and  philosophical  and 
religious  subjects.  There  are  book  chats,  play  readings,  open  forums, 
concerts,  musical  recitals,  and  dancing. 

176.  Known  to  generations  of  San  Franciscans  as  Laurel  Hill  Ceme- 
tery, PIONEER  MEMORIAL  PARK,  California  St.,  Presidio  and 
Parker  Aves.,  a  54-acre  area  at  the  base  of  Lone  Mountain,  contrasts 
strangely  with  the  apartment  houses  surrounding  it.  Sorrel,  oxalis,  and 
clover  cover  this  graveyard  of  tottering  stones  and  forgotten  tombs,  and 
offshore  winds  stir  the  branches  of  cypress,  laurel,  pine,  and  oak  trees. 
In  1854,  San  Franciscans  established  Laurel  Hill  Cemetery  here  far  out 
in  the  sand  dunes  so  that  it  would  not  interfere  with  the  city's  growth. 
On  a  wooden  board  was  inscribed  a  memorial  to  the  first  person  buried : 
"To  the  Memory  of  the  First  Inhabitant  of  This  Silent  City  .  .  .  John 
Orr  .  .  .  interred  June  loth,  1854."  Some  inscriptions  were  laconic, 
as  in  the  case  of  Silas  W.  Sanderson,  judge  and  lawyer,  whose  stone 
simply  recorded:  "Final  Decree."  Others,  as  this  over  an  unknown 
woman,  were  elaborately  "poetic": 

Pain  was  my  portion, 

Physic  was  my  food, 
Groans  were  my  devotions, 

Drugs  did  me  no  good. 
Christ   was   my   Physician 

Knew  which  way  was  best, 
So  to   ease  me   of  my  pain 

He  took  my  soul  to  rest. 

A  long  list  of  names  important  in  the  city's  history  have  appeared  on 
the  headstones:  Fire  Chief  Dave  Scannell;  Mayor  James  Van  Ness; 
smelting  works  founder  Thomas  Selby;  barrister  and  bon-vivant  Hall 
McAllister ;  William  S.  Clark,  who  drove  the  first  piles  in  San  Francisco 
Bay;  Senator  David  C.  Broderick,  killed  in  a  pistol  duel  with  State 
Supreme  Court  Justice  David  S.  Terry;  Bulletin  editor  James  King  of 
William,  whose  murder  by  James  Casey  revived  vigilante  organization  ; 
Samuel  Woodworth,  author  of  "The  Old  Oaken  Bucket";  Edward 
Gilbert,  California's  first  Congressman,  slain  in  a  duel  by  General 
James  W.  Denver,  for  whom  Colorado's  capital  was  named;  Colonel 
E.  D.  Baker, 'killed  with  his  regiment  at  the  battle  of  Ball's  Bluff  in 
1 86 1 ;  William  Sharon  and  James  G.  Fair  of  Comstock  Lode  fame. 


WESTERN     ADDITION      295 

In  1912,  when  four  cemeteries,  Laurel  Hill,  Calvary,  Odd  Fellows, 
and  Masonic,  were  grouped  around  the  base  of  Lone  Mountain,  the 
Board  of  Supervisors,  heeding  the  protests  of  the  living,  ordered  the 
area  vacated.  All  of  the  cemeteries  save  Laurel  Hill  were  moved  to 
San  Mateo  County.  The  controversy  which  ensued  lasted  for  28  years. 
In  1937  the  people  of  San  Francisco  voted  that  the  ground  be  cleared 
and  emptied  by  the  end  of  1940.  Coffins  are  being  transferred  at  the 
rate  of  more  than  2,000  each  month  to  Cypress  Lawn  Cemetery  in  San 
Mateo  County  to  be  interred  in  catacombs  and  vaults  until  a  mausoleum 
can  be  constructed  at  Lawndale. 


N.  from  Geary  St.  on  Fillmore  St. 

177.  Hot  spot  of  the  "Gay  Nineties,"  headquarters  of  city  govern- 
ment following  the  holacaust  of  1906,  and  meeting  place  of  political, 
language,  and  unemployed  groups  in  its  declining  years,  FRANKLIN 
HALL,  1859  Fillmore  St.,  now  wears  a  general  air  of  neglect  with  its 
faded  gray  walls  and  unwashed  windows.    Built  in  1895,  the  four-story 
wooden  building  with  its  auditorium  and  stage  was  popular  as  a  public 
dance  hall.     Here  "Professor"  Bothwell  Brown,  "California's  Greatest 
Female   Impersonator,"  held  his  audiences  with  his   "art"   up   to   the 
earthquake  and  fire  in  1906,  when  the  premises  were  occupied  by  the 
San  Francisco  Examiner,  Mayor  Eugene  Schmitz,  and  the  Committee 
of  Fifty,  composed  of  the  city's  financial  leaders.     The  building  later 
housed  a  dancing  academy. 

W.  from  Fillmore  St.  on  Bush  St. 

178.  The  eight-spired  Tudor  Gothic  tower  of  ST.  DOMINIC'S 
CHURCH,  NW.  corner  Bush  and  Steiner  Sts.,  rises  to  a  height  of  175 
feet,   dominating  the  neighborhood.     The  present  structure  was  com- 
pleted in   1928  on  the  site  of  the  original  church  destroyed  in   1906. 
Stretched  across  the  tallest  of  its  interior  vaulted  arches  is  a  rood  screen 
bearing  in  its  center  the  figures  of  a  Crucifixion  group.     In  the  chief 
shrine  along  each  side  of  the  church  is  a  figure  of  Christ,  wearing  a 
regal  sceptre  and  robed  in  priestly  garments.     Woodwork  of  the  altar 
rails   and   confessional    doors   is   the   work   of   the   master   carvers   of 
Oberammergau,  Bavaria,  and  of  Bruges,  Belgium. 

N.  from  Bush  St.  on  Steiner  St. 

179.  ALTA  PLAZA,  Steiner,  Scott,  Clay,  and  Jackson  Sts.,  was 
reclaimed  by  John  McLaren  when  he  filled  a  deserted  rock  quarry  with 
rubbish,  topped  it  with  soil,   planted   lawns,   and  laid  out.  walks  and 


296      SAN     FRANCISCO 

tennis  courts.  The  stairway  on  the  south  side's  steep  terraced  slope  is 
a  reproduction  of  the  grand  stairway  in  front  of  the  gaming  casino  at 
Monte  Carlo.  4 


E.  from  Steiner  St.  on  Jackson  St. 

1 80.  The   city's   largest    Protestant   congregation   worships   in   the 
CALVARY   PRESBYTERIAN    CHURCH,    NW.   corner  Jackson 
and  Fillmore  Sts.,  founded  in  1854  by  the  Reverend  William  Anderson 
Scott,  who  was  hanged  in  effigy  in  1861.     A  supporter  of  the  original 
church,  William  C.  Ralston,  is  reported  to  have  scattered  $20  gold 
pieces  among  its  pews. 

The  cornerstone  of  the  present  classic  structure  with  Corinthian 
features  was  laid  July  4,  1901,  to  the  accompaniment  of  fireworks  and 
Protestant  hymns.  Offering  its  spacious  facilities  to  other  religious 
congregations  and  to  the  city  government  after  the  1906  fire,  Calvary 
had  services  conducted  in  its  lecture  room  by  the  presiding  Rabbi  of 
Temple  Emanu-El,  concerts  by  the  Loring  Club  in  its  auditorium,  and 
sessions  of  the  Superior  Court  in  its  gymnasium. 

S.  from  Jackson  St.  on  Webster  St. 

1 8 1.  The   buildings,   old   and   new,   of   the   STANFORD-LANE 
HOSPITALS,  Webster  St.  between  Clay  and   Sacramento  Sts.,   are 
the   visible   record   of   the   institution's   last   half-century   of   progress. 
The  huge  five-story  red-brick  Lane  Hospital  was  erected  in  1893;  the 
reinforced  concrete  Stanford  Hospital,  adjoining  on  the  east,  in  1917. 
The  former  contains  medical,  surgical,  pediatric,  neuropsychiatric,  and 
obstetrical  wards,  and  a  clinical  nursery,  and  is  operated  by  a  medical 
faculty  chosen  by  a  clinical  committee  appointed  by  Stanford  Univer- 
sity.     Stanford    Hospital,   controlled   by   the   same   staff,   contains    70 
private  rooms,  a  private  surgery  and  a  gynecological  clinic  ward,  de- 
livery  rooms,    hydro-   and    electro-therapeutic    departments,    a   private 
clinical  laboratory,  and  X-ray,  diagnostic,  and  therapeutic  departments. 
On  the  opposite  side  of  Clay  Street  stands  the  seven-story  gray  cement 
Stanford  School  of  Nursing.     Lane  Hospital  is  an  outgrowth  of  the 
first  medical  college  established  on  the  Pacific  Coast  in   1858  by  Dr. 
E.  S.  Cooper. 

Containing  90,000  volumes,  the  LANE  MEDICAL  LIBRARY,  SE.  cor- 
ner Sacramento  and  Webster  Sts.,  occupies  a  three-and-one-half-story 
fireproof  building  erected  in  1912.  It  contains  an  early  collection  of 
valuable  works  from  the  New  York  Academy  of  Medicine  and  5,000 
volumes  of  me'dical  history,  which  includes  works  by  ancient  or  medieval 
authorities  in  the  Turkish,  Arabic,  and  Persian  languages.  The  library 


WESTERN     ADDITION      297 

is  named  for  Dr.  Levi  Cooper  Lane,  a  brilliant  surgeon,  nephew  of  the 
principal  founder  of  Lane  Hospital. 

W ' .  from  Webster  St.  on  Sacramento  St. 

182.  In  the  DRAMA  WORKSHOP,  2435  Sacramento  St.,  a  pale 
green  one-story  building  with  wide  canary  yellow  door,  costumes  of 
every  country  of  the  world  are  designed,  assembled,  and  stored  for  use 
of  the  San  Francisco  Recreation  Department.     Within  the  skylighted 
room  are  doll  models  and  mounted  water  color  paintings  of  the  dress 
of   the  world's   far  places.     Recreational   activities   sponsored   by   the 
workshop  include  puppetry,  dance  and  drama,  and  adult  story-telling 
groups.     Here,  too,  is  housed  the  extensive  library  of  the  Northern  Cali- 
fornia Drama  Association,  for  which  the  Drama  Workshop  is  head- 
quarters. 

183.  Its  ponderous  limestone  mass  capped  with  a  gray  Levantine 
dome,  TEMPLE  SHERITH  ISRAEL  (open  daily  9-5),  NE.  corner 
Webster   and    California    Sts.,    is    a   pioneer    stronghold    of    reformed 
Judaism  which  has  played  a  colorful  role  in  the  city's  political  history. 
Its  stern  main  facade  is  distinguished  by  an  entrance  recessed  behind  a 
Roman  arch  which  curves  above  a  vast  rose  window.     The  interior 
auditorium  is  a  huge  square,  surrounded  by  two  tiers  of  galleries,  from 
which  a  domed  ceiling  rises  80  feet  above  the  floor.    The  present  build- 
ing was  erected  in  1904  for  a  congregation  organized  in  1850. 

Serving  as  a  temporary  Hall  of  Justice  immediately  after  the  1906 
fire,  the  auditorium  here  was  the  courtroom  in  which  Abraham  Ruef 
was  indicted  on  65  counts  of  extortion  by  a  grand  jury.  (During  a 
recess,  a  juryman  named  Haas,  who  had  been  exposed  as  an  ex-convict, 
shot  and  wounded  Francis  J.  Heney,  chief  prosecutor  and  leader  of  the 
graft  investigations.)  Barely  saved  from  lynching,  Ruef  was  convicted 
and  sentenced  to  14  years  in  San  Quentin.  Asked  by  newspaper  re- 
porters how  he  liked  exchanging  his  natty  attire  for  a  convict's  striped 
gray  uniform,  the  dethroned  political  boss  of  San  Francisco  replied: 
"The  zebra  is  one  of  the  most  beautiful  and  graceful  of  animals.  Why, 
therefore,  should  I  cavil  at  my  attire." 

E.  from  Webster  St.  on  California  St.  to  Laguna  St.;  N.  from  Cali- 
fornia on  Laguna. 

184.  Site   of   the  first   observatory  in    California,    LAFAYETTE 
SQUARE,  Washington,   Gough,    Sacramento   and   Laguna   Sts.,   is   a 
sloping  green  hill  crisscrossed  with  hedges  and  graveled  walks,  topped 
with   tennis   courts   and   a   small   playground.      Erected   in    1879,    the 
observatory  was  maintained  privately  for  20  years  by  George  Davidson, 


298      SAN     FRANCISCO 

geodesist  and  astronomer.  The  park  was  created  in  1867,  but  the  top 
of  the  hill  was  owned  by  Samuel  W.  Holladay,  ex-Oregon  stage  driver 
and  owner  of  the  famous  Overland  Stage  Line,  whose  glistening  white 
home  on  "Holladay's  Hill"  was  a  mecca  for  literary  and  Gold  Rush 
aristocracy.  Repeated  suits  by  the  city  failed  to  dislodge  Holladay,  and 
the  old  mansion,  with  weathered  timbers  that  had  come  round  the  Horn, 
was  not  razed  until  1936,  when  the  site  was  incorporated  into  the  park. 

E.  from  Laguna  St.  on  Sacramento  St.  to  Octavia  St.;  S.  from  Sacra- 
mento on  Octavia. 

185.  Three  tiny  fragments  of  bone,  each  no  larger  than  a  grain  of 
rice,  repose  in  three  little  glass  balls  enclosed  in  a  glass  temple  on  a 
beautifully  carved  altar  at  the  HONGWANJI  BUDDHIST  MIS- 
SION OF  NORTH  AMERICA  (open  daily;  English  services,  Sun. 
I  p.m.;  Japanese  services,  Sun.  8  p.m.),  1881   Pine  St.,  first  Buddhist 
church  in  America  and  national  headquarters  of  the  mission.     These 
sacred  relics,  reputed  to  be  portions  of  the  body  of  Buddha,  were  pre- 
sented to  Bishop  Masuyama  in  1935  by  the  King  of  Siam.    The  temple 
is  a  pearl  gray,  two-story  concrete  building,  occidental  in  line;  its  slender 
dome  is  topped  with  an  odd  spearlike  spire.     Beautifully  handwrought 
brass  lanterns  flank  its  three  entrances. 

In  the  auditorium  filigreed  black  and  gold  folding  panels  shield  the 
altar  and  inner  shrine,  decorated  with  pastel  and  gold  leaf  friezes  repre- 
senting Buddhist  angels  in  heaven  and  birds  of  paradise.  The  screen 
panels,  when  unfolded,  disclose  the  maejoku  (altar  table),  with  its 
candelabra,  incense  burner,  and  cut  flowers  in  massive  bronze  urns, 
flanked  on  either  side  by  a  rinto  (lantern)  of  heavily  garlanded  brass, 
suspended  from  a  bell-like  hood.  Behind  the  altar  rises  the  pagoda- 
topped  shrine  with  heavily  carved  columns  of  gold-leaf;  in  the  inner 
chamber  is  a  reclining  golden  image  of  Buddha  under  a  golden  canopy. 

The  members  of  the  temple  are  of  the  Shin  sect,  with  headquarters 
at  the  Nishi  Hongwanji  Temple  in  Kyoto,  Japan.  This  sect  was 
founded  in  Japan  in  the  year  1226  by  Saint  Shinran;  its  North  Amer- 
ican adherents  number  about  70,000.  A  modest  two-story  flat  at  532 
Stevenson  Street  served  in  1898  as  the  first  Buddhist  Church  in  Amer- 
ica. The  present  temple  was  dedicated  in  1938. 

1 86.  On  the  northern  fringes  of  the  Japanese  quarter  a  hospital 
marks  the  SITE  OF  THE  THOMAS  BELL  RESIDENCE,  corner 
Octavia  and  Bush  Sts.,  long  known  as  the  "House  of  Mystery."     The 
house  itself  was  torn  down  about  1927  but  a  short  row  of  eucalyptus 
trees  that  once  hedged  it  remains.      Here,   during  the  heyday  of  the 
Comstock  period,  lived  that  formidable  sorceress  known  to  every  San 
Franciscan  as  Mammy  Pleasant.     Ostensibly,  the  great  mansion  with 


WESTERN     ADDITION      299 

its  mansard  roof,  its  inner  courtyard,  and  its  mirror-lined  ballroom, 
which  was  never  used  for  dancing,  was  the  private  residence  of  Thomas 
Bell,  reputedly  the  power  behind  William  C.  Ralston's  throne  in  the 
Bank  of  California.  Mammy  Pleasant  was  to  all  appearances  his 
housekeeper.  There  was  scarcely  a  man  in  public  life  who  did  not 
treat  the  scrawny  little  Negress  with  utmost  deference. 

The  truth  was,  of  course,  that  she  was  a  procuress  of  unusual  re- 
sources and  connections,  and  a  remarkable  cook.  On  her  arrival  in  San 
Francisco  in  1848,  she  quickly  attracted  to  her  boarding  house  the 
leaders  of  the  town.  The  entertainment  she  provided  soon  enabled  her 
to  open  a  whole  chain  of  boarding  houses.  Obeying  the  injunction  of 
her  dead  first  husband  she  devoted  part  of  her  legacy  received  from  him 
to  the  Abolitionist  cause,  traveling  to  Boston,  where  she  presented  John 
Brown  with  a  draft  for  $30,000.  When  Brown  was  captured  at 
Harper's  Ferry,  a  note  was  found  on  him,  signed  with  illiterate  Mammy 
Pleasant's  "M.  P."  It  read:  "The  ax  is  laid  at  the  foot  of  the  tree. 
When  the  first  blow  is  struck,  there  will  be  more  money  to  help." 

To  ensure  this,  Mammy  returned  to  San  Francisco,  set  up  her 
menage  in  the  mansion  among  the  blue  gum  trees,  and  settled  down  to 
her  long  career  of  forwarding  the  infidelities  of  the  city's  men  of  affairs. 
She  squandered  Thomas  Bell's  fortune  on  her  weird  schemes,  turned 
his  wife  against  him,  kept  him  virtually  a  prisoner,  and  starved  his 
children.  When  he  died  of  a  fall  into  the  courtyard  from  a  third-story 
balcony,  it  was  believed  that  his  "housekeeper"  had  pushed  him  over. 
She  carried  on  for  years  a  bitter  legal  duel  with  members  of  his  family. 
She  died  at  the  age  of  92,  penniless,  asking  only  that  her  tombstone 
bear  this  epitaph:  "She  was  a  friend  of  John  Brown." 

E.  from  Octavia  St.  on  Bush  St. 

187.  First  of  its  denomination  on  the  Pacific  Coast,  TRINITY 
EPISCOPAL  CHURCH,  NE.  corner  Gough  and  Bush  Sts.,  was 
founded  in  1849.  The  present  structure,  built  of  rough-hewn  Colusa 
sandstone,  Norman  in  style,  is  flanked  at  either  end  of  its  main  facade 
by  bastions  with  conical  turrets  which  contribute  to  the  massive  effect 
imposed  by  the  square  central  belfry  (Hobart,  Cram,  and  Ferguson, 
architects).  The  interior  nave  of  three  bays  contains  lancet  windows 
of  stained  glass  portraying  Biblical  subjects,  the  work  of  Belgian  crafts- 
men. Buried  beneath  the  chancel  is  the  Reverend  Flavel  Scott  Mines, 
founder  of  the  church,  who  died  in  1852.  Beside  the  altar  stands  a 
bronze  angel  with  folded  wings  who  bears  aloft  a  flat  brass  scroll  on- 
which  rests  a  large  Bible.  Until  1867  services  were  held  in  a  private 
house.  From  that  date  until  the  erection  of  the  present  church  in  1892, 


3OO      SAN     FRANCISCO 

its  congregation  met  in  a  large  frame  building  at  Post  and   Powell 
Streets. 


S.  from  Bush  St.  on  Gough  St.  to  O'Farrell  St.;  E.  from  Gough  on 
O'Farrell 

1 88.  Its  peaked  gray  roof  rising  between  a  cone-topped  turret  and  a 
square  pyramid-roofed  bell  tower,   ST.   MARK'S   EVANGELICAL 
LUTHERAN  CHURCH  (services  Sun.  8:30  and  n  a.m.},  O'Farrell 
St.  between  Gough  and  Franklin  Sts.,  was  the  first  Lutheran  Church  in 
California,   founded  in   1849.     The  red  brick  facade  of   the  present 
structure,  dedicated  in  1895,  is  of  Romanesque  design.     In  n  stained 
glass  windows,   which   shed   rich   red,   blue,   and   purple   light   on   an 
interior  decorated  in  French  ivory  and  gold,  are  represented  The  Pascal 
Lamb,  The  Holy  Writ,  The  Sacred  Chalice,  The  Cross,  The  Crown 
of  Christ  the  King,  The  Ten  Commandments,  and  the  name  "Jehovah" 
in  Hebrew.     Behind  the  ornate  altar  rise  the  gilded  pipes  of  the  great 
organ,   distinguished  for  its  trumpet  brass  reed  with  clarion   martial 
tone.  One  of  the  first  pipe  organs  built  in  San  Francisco,  it  was  installed 
by  Felix  Schoenstein  in  1886  in  the  church's  former  building  on  Geary 
Street.     Until  1864,  when  orthodox  members  of  its  congregation  with- 
drew to  found  the  Church  of  St.  Paulus,  Masons  and  others  belonging 
to  secret  orders  were  barred  from  membership.     Following  the   1906 
disaster  the  slightly  damaged  church  served  as  a  refugee  and  hospital 
center.     Until  1931  services  were  conducted  in  German. 

189.  Seat  of  the  Roman  Catholic  Archbishopric  of  Northern  Cali- 
fornia, ST.  MARY'S  CATHEDRAL  OF  THE  ASSUMPTION, 
NW.  corner  O'Farrell  St.  and  Van  Ness  Ave.,  is  a  huge  ungainly  red- 
brick structure  of   German   Gothic   design;   its   octagonal   tower   and 
spire  and  massive  flight  of  granite  steps  are  out  of  proportion  to  its 
severe  and  unimposing  facade.    The  interior  offers  a  contrasting  aspect 
of  simple  magnificence.     Royal  Bavarian  windows  of  stained  glass  lend 
it   an  atmosphere  of  symbolic  grandeur.     The  three   sections  of   the 
Assumption  rise  behind  the  archbishop's  green  and  gold  throne  by  the 
high  altar,  under  a  rose  window  in  four  segments.     Behind  the  two 
small  galleries  are  rose  windows  in  12  divisions.     Along  the  north  side 
of  the  nave  are  four  larger  windows  representing  the  Wedding  Feast 
at  Cana,  Christ  in  the  Garden  of  Gesthemane,  The  Good  Shepherd, 
and  Peter  Receiving  the  Keys.    On  the  south  side  are  The  Meeting  of 
Mary  and  Elizabeth,  The  Nativity,  The  Presentation  in  the  Temple, 
and  The  Flight  Into  Egypt.    The  Stations  of  the  Cross  on  either  side 

'of  nave  and  transept  are  represented  in  white,  gold,  and  blue  enamel. 


WESTERN     ADDITION      3OI 

N.  from  O'Farrell  St.  on  Van  Ness  Ave.  to  Geary  St.;  W.  from  Van 
Ness  on  Geary 

190.  Rich     in    historic    tradition,     the     FIRST     UNITARIAN 
CHURCH,  SW.  corner  Geary  and  Franklin  Sts.,  an  ivy-covered,  gray 
stone  edifice  of  modified  Romanesque  and  Gothic  design,  with  a  square 
turret  in  place  of  the  bell  tower  demolished  by  the  earthquake  of  1906, 
is  reminiscent  in  its  quiet  dignity  of  the  churches  of  the  English  country- 
side.    In  the  little  strip  of  churchyard  is  an  oblong  white  marble  sar- 
cophagus bearing  the  simple  inscription,   "Thomas   Starr  King,   born 
December  17,  A.  D.  1824 — Died  March  4,  A.  D.  1864";  here  repose 
the  remains  of  the  militant  pastor  of  the  Civil  War  period  with  whom 
the  church  long  has  been  identified.     The  church  has  a  great  circu- 
lar rose  window  and  perpendicular  Gothic  windows  of  stained  glass. 
Bruce  Porter's  allegorical  painting,  Lo  At  Length   The  True  Light, 
appears  over  the  altar,  which  is  flanked  on  either  side  by  winged  angels 
sculptured  by  Arthur  Putnam.     The  marble  baptismal  font  with  rows 
of  finely  chiseled  cherubs,  under  a  spired  Gothic  canopy  rising  to  the 
vaulted  ceiling  of  the  church,  is  the  gift  of  the  First  Congregational 
Church  of  New  York  to  the  First  Unitarian  Church  in  San  Francisco, 
made  in  1864. 

The  city's  first  Unitarian  religious  service  was  preached  on  October 
20,  1850,  by  the  Reverend  Charles  A.  Farley.  A  Unitarian  society 
was  soon  formed  and  by  1852  was  holding  services  in  Armory  Hall, 
then  the  largest  auditorium  in  town.  In  a  church  of  its  own  on  Stock- 
ton Street  the  society  began  meeting  in  1853.  To  this  church  in  1860 
came  a  young  Boston  clergyman,  Thomas  Starr  King.  When  the  Civil 
War  began  a  year  later,  he  canvassed  the  State,  helping  to  swing  Cali- 
fornia to  the  side  of  the  Union  with  his  eloquence.  Through  King's 
efforts  the  cornerstone  of  a  new  church  on  Geary  Street  was  laid  in 
December,  1862.  Only  two  months  after  its  dedication  January  10, 
1864,  King  died  of  diphtheria.  The  Reverend  Horatio  Stebbins  suc- 
ceeded him  and  during  the  35  years  of  his  pastorate,  many  distinguished 
visitors  spoke  from  the  pulpit,  among  them  Ralph  Waldo  Emerson, 
Julia  Ward  Howe,  Edward  Everett  Hale,  Charles  Eliot,  and  David 
Starr  Jordan.  Since  the  dedication  of  the  present  church  on  February 
10,  1889,  its  pastor  and  membership  have  carried  on  the  tradition  of 
Thomas  Starr  King,  playing  a  leading  role  in  movements  for  political, 
economic,  and  social  reform. 

N.  from  Geary  St.  on  Franklin  St.  to  Post  St.;  E.  from  Franklin  on 
Post  to  Van  Ness  Ave.;  N.  from  Post  on  Van  Ness 

191.  The  chaste  white  granite  and  limestone  SCOTTISH  RITE 
TEMPLE,  NW.  corner  Van  Ness  Ave.  and  Sutter  St.  (Carl  Werner, 


3O2      SAN     FRANCISCO 

architect),  was  dedicated  in  1911  by  the  Masonic  Order  of  Scottish 
Rite,  first  established  in  San  Francisco  in  1868.  It  has  been  used  by 
clubs,  political  groups,  and  trade  unions  for  grand  annual  balls,  public 
forums,  and  convention  headquarters.  Beyond  the  lobby  is  the  lodge 
room,  seating  1,500,  a  vast  two-storied  chamber  of  English  Tudor 
design,  with  high  stained-glass  windows  lighting  the  dark  walnut  panels 
of  the  room.  On  the  fourth  and  top  floor  is  a  library  (open  to  members 
only)  of  2,500  volumes,  including  a  copy  of  Albert  Magnus'  Sermons, 
printed  in  1479,  bound  in  leather  with  covers  of  thin  wood;  the  History 
of  St.  Joan,  printed  in  1722;  and  what  is  perhaps  the  only  complete 
Catholic  Encyclopedia  on  the  Pacific  Coast. 

192.  Home  of  the  Russian  Orthodox  Church  in  North  America  is 
the  HOLY  TRINITY  RUSSIAN  EASTERN  ORTHODOX 
CATHEDRAL,  NW.  corner  Van  Ness  Ave.  and  Green  St.,  where  on 
Orthodox  Sunday  (first  Sunday  in  Lent)  deep-voiced  Russian  singers 
intone  their  centuries-old  laments  for  the  godless.  The  first  Russian 
cathedral  in  the  United  States  and  the  oldest  Russian  church  in  San 
Francisco,  the  present  structure  is  authentically  Byzantine  in  design,  a 
buff-colored  frame  building,  its  green  dome  surmounted  with  a  gold 
Greek  cross.  It  faces  east  in  the  tradition  of  the  Greek  Orthodox 
Church.  Within  the  belfry  hang  five  bells,  the  largest  of  which,  weigh- 
ing two  and  one-half  tons,  was  made  expressly  for  the  church  in  com- 
memoration of  the  miraculous  escape  from  death  of  the  *  'little  Father 
of  all  the  Russias"  in  1884.  The  church  has  two  richly  decorated  audi- 
toriums, one  for  daily  services,  the  other  -for  Sundays  and  holy  days. 
Its  murals  depicting  religious  subjects  are  by  Gleb  Ilyn.  The  cathedral 
has  no  benches  or  pews,  the  congregation  being  obliged  to  stand  or 
kneel  on  the  bare  floor  while  priests  in  colored  vestments,  thin  and 
frayed  from  decades  of  use,  intone  the  mass  and  vespers.  Ikons  are 
usually  kept  covered  on  a  special  table  except  during  Easter,  when  they 
are  placed  on  the  altar  for  40  days. 

The  first  known  services  of  the  Russian  Greek  Orthodox  Church 
held  in  San  Francisco  were  conducted  in  1863,  when  a  priest  from  a 
Russian  ship  in  the  Bay  baptized  a  Serbian  infant  in  a  private  house. 
With  the  arrival  of  many  Russian  immigrants  from  Alaska,  Father 
loann  Metropolsky  came  in  1871  and  organized  the  St.  Alexander 
Russian  Orthodox  Church.  In  1882-83  a  cathedral  was  established  on 
Powell  Street;  the  memorial  bells  hung  in  the  church  were  rescued 
during  the  fire  and  earthquake  of  1906  and  installed  in  the  present 
structure  after  its  dedication  in  1909.  The  present  titular  head  of  the 
cathedral,  Bishop  Metropolitan  Theopolis  Bashkrovsky,  former  Tsarist 
army  chaplain  during  the  World  War,  was  appointed  bishop  of  San 
Francisco  in  1*932  and  Metropolitan  of  the  Russian  Church  in  North 
America  in  1934. 


WESTERN     ADDITION       303 

W .  from  Van  Ness  Ave.  on  Union  St. 

193.  Of  polyglot  design,  the  HINDU  TEMPLE  (open  Wed.  8 
p.m.},  SW.  corner  Filbert  and  Webster  Sts.,  rears  from  its  third  story 
a  bewildering  array  of  minarets,  cupolas,  and  towers  of  Gothic,  Hindu, 
Shiva,  and  Moslem  design.  The  upward-pointing  architectural  features 
of  the  temple,  headquarters  of  the  Vedanta  Society,  are  intended  to  sym- 
bolize the  goal  of  Vedanta  teachings,  ultimate  perfection.  To  each  of 
the  six  towers  is  attached  a  symbolic  meaning:  one,  decorated  with  cres- 
cent, sun,  and  trident,  symbolizes  the  path  to  knowledge  through  devo- 
tion and  work.  In  the  chapel  and  auditorium  on  the  first  floor,  above 
the  altar,  hang  two  life-size  portraits,  one  of  Ramakrishna,  patron  saint 
of  the  Vedanta  movement,  the  other  of  Swami  Trigunatita,  head  of 
the  temple  at  the  time  of  its  completion  in  1904.  Beside  the  platform 
is  a  large  portrait  of  Swami  Vivekananda,  who  brought  Hinduism  to  the 
West  and  under  whose  guidance  the  temple  was  founded. 


306      SAN     FRANCISCO 

product  include  the  ground  chocolate  originated  by  Domingo  Ghirar- 
delli.  In  the  main  office  of  the  plant  is  a  large  mixing  machine  brought 
round  the  Horn  from  France  in  the  i86o's — a  heavy  circular  chocolate 
mill  three  feet  in  diameter  with  stone  rollers  used  for  grinding  the 
raw  cacao — and  a  primitive  Mexican  hand  mill  used  by  the  Aztecs. 
(No  better  medium  for  the  grinding  of  chocolate  than  stone  has  yet 
been  discovered.) 


S.  on  Polk  St.  to  Bay  St.;  W.  on  Bay 

197.  Thrust  northward  into  the  Bay,  its  land  boundaries  Van  Ness 
Ave.,  Bay  and  Laguna  Sts.  (main  entrance  Van  Ness  Ave.  and  Bay 
St.),  is  FORT  MASON  UNITED  STATES  MILITARY  RE- 
SERVE (usually  open  24  hrs. ;  subject  to  close  without  notice),  whose 
68*/2  acres  enclose  the  site  of  Spanish  fortifications  built  nearly  150 
years  ago.  On  April  4,  1797,  Governor  Diego  de  Borica  instructed 
engineer  Alberto  de  Cordoba  to  complete  certain  necessary  repairs  of 
Castillo  de  San  Joaquin  and  to  construct  another  battery  where  it 
would  "further  impede  the  anchorage  of  any  hostile  vessel  in  La  Yerba 
Buena."  Location  chosen  by  De  Cordoba  for  his  Battery  San  Jose 
was  Point  Medanos  (later  called  San  Jose),  today's  Black  Point,  north- 
ernmost natural  promontory  of  the  reserve.  Original  defense  for  the 
little  battery  was  five  brass  eight-pounders;  by  1798  it  had  achieved  a 
sixth  cannon;  but  by  the  turn  of  the  century  it  was  virtually  abandoned. 
When  General  and  Mrs.  John  C.  Fremont  in  the  1850*5  moved  to 
Black  Point — said  to  have  been  so  named  because  of  its  dense,  somber 
laurel  thickets — there  was  no  trace  of  Battery  San  Jose. 

The  area  was  set  aside  for  military  purposes  by  President  Millard 
Fillmore  in  1850-51,  but  not  until  1863  were  troops  quartered  in  the 
area.  Meanwhile  lawsuits  had  been  waged  over  boundaries,  water 
rights,  and  private  claims  which  were  to  reduce  the  original  loo-acre 
reserve  to  its  present  size. 

Unsuccessful  in  their  fight  to  gain  possession  of  the  area  were  Fre- 
mont and  four  friends  who  claimed  it  by  squatters'  rights.  Colonel 
Richard  Barnes  Mason  carried  out  the  Presidential  order  to  dispossess, 
thus  incurring  an  enmity  that  culminated  in  a  challenge  by  Fremont 
to  a  duel,  which  was  never  fought.  In  1882  the  reservation  was  named 
for  Colonel  Mason  (California  military  governor  1847-49). 

Fort  Mason  today  contains  102  frame  buildings,  including  several 
commissary  warehouses,  a  supply  depot  and  13  units  occupied  by  officers. 
Residential  headquarters  of  the  commander  of  the  Fourth  Army  (Sev- 
enth and  Ninth  Corps  Areas),  a  rambling  old  house  overlooking  the 
Bay,  incorporates  the  little  one-room  headquarters  built  by  Major 
Leonidas  Haskell  about  1850. 


RIM     OF     THE     GOLDEN     GATE      307 

Point  of  embarcation  and  arrival  for  troops  stationed  abroad  are 
the  three  ARMY  TRANSPORT  DOCKS  in  the  northwestern  corner  of  the 
reserve  (foot  of  Laguna  St.).  A  primary  port  of  the  United  States 
Army  Transport  Service,  Fort  Mason  is  the  home  of  the  Army  trans- 
ports Grant,  Somme,  Cambrai,  and  Meigs.  Annually  provisions  valued 
at  more  than  $12,000,000  are  shipped  to  Army  outposts  in  Alaska, 
Panama  Canal  Zone,  Hawaii,  the  Philippines,  and  the  Far  East. 
Through  a  tunnel  under  the  reservation  Belt  Line  locomotives  haul 
freight  cars  between  the  Embarcadero  and  the  docks.  More  than 
25,000  replacement  troops  leave  here  each  year  to  relieve  garrisons  in 
service  overseas. 

N.  from  Bay  St.  on  Laguna  St.  to  Marina  Blvd.;  NW.  on  Marina  (or 
NW.  from  Bay  St.  and  Van  Ness  Ave.  on  a  Fort  Mason  road  to 
Marina  Blvd.;  NW.  on  Marina) 

Comparatively  new  and  fashionable  is  that  residential  district  of 
stuccoed  flats  and  broad-windowed  apartment  buildings  known  as  The 
Marina,  extending  from  Van  Ness  Avenue  west  to  the  Presidio  and 
north  from  Lombard  Street  to  Fort  Mason  and  the  Bay.  The  older 
part  of  the  district  was  built  up  during  the  Panama-Pacific  International 
Exposition  of  1915;  the  newer,  since  1922,  on  some  50  of  the  several 
hundred  blocks  on  which  the  exposition  was  located. 

198.  Lying  north  of  broad  Marina  Boulevard  between  Webster  St. 
and  Yacht  Harbor,  are  the  block-wide,  level  lawns  of  MARINA  PARK 
(parking  area;  comfort  stations).     Baseball  and  football  players,  pic- 
nickers, and  kite  and  model  airplane  enthusiasts  have  replaced  the  local 
amateur  aviators  who  made  the  park  their  unofficial  landing  field  until 
1925.     In  that  year  Marina  residents  objected  so  strenuously  to  the 
aerial  menaces  to  their  lives  and  property  that  the  Park  Commission 
decided  to  use  the  land  for  its  originally  intended  recreational  purposes. 
The  tiny  cove  at  the  eastern  end  of  Marina  Park,  near  the  Army  Trans- 
port Docks,  is  crowded  with  small  fishing  craft  (boats  rented).    Where 
the  oil-covered  pilings  of  the  abandoned  wharves  push   up   from   the 
water,   implacable  fishermen  stand  guard  over  bobbing  corks  or  haul 
oily  crabnets  from  the  cove.      Cleaner  is   the   small   enclosed   bathing 
lagoon  at  the  park's  western  end. 

199.  Berthed  in  municipally  owned  YACHT  HARBOR,  Marina 
Blvd.,  Scott,  and  Lyon  Sts.,  are  about  2OO  craft,  ranging  in  size  from 
the  tiniest  of  catboats  to  Templeton  Crocker's  black-hulled,  two-masted 
schooner  Zaca,  veteran  of  far-ranging  scientific  expeditions.     Sail  and 
motor  boats  moored  here  dot  the  Bay  on  pleasant   Sundays  and  par- 
ticipate in  periodical  regattas. 

200.  On  the  i,5OO-foot-long  breakwater  that  shelters  the  harbor  is 


308      SAN     FRANCISCO 

the  home  of  the  ST.  FRANCIS  YACHT  CLUB  (private),  a  two- 
story  cement-faced  structure  roofed  with  red  and  orange  tile,  all  but 
obscured  from  the  mainland  by  green  pines.  Spanish  in  both  exterior 
and  interior — with  beamed  ceilings  looking  down  on  rooms  furnished 
in  heavy  dark  wood  and  warmed  by  great  open  fires — the  decorative 
motif  is  nevertheless  marine.  A  large  glass-enclosed  lounge  affords  an 
unusually  fine  view  of  the  Bay  and  its  shores.  Among  the  clubrooms 
open  to  its  300  members  are  a  dining  room,  a  bar,  steam  and  locker 
rooms,  and  courts  for  badminton,  handball,  and  squash.  Active  in  for- 
mation of  the  organization  (1928)  was  Hiram  Johnson,  Jr.  Non-profit 
and  given  to  the  promotion  of  frequent  social  events,  the  club's  primary 
interest  is  yachting.  Its  annual  open  racing  season  (for  craft  of  all 
classes)  attracts  sportsmen  from  the  entire  Bay  region. 

201.  Beyond  the  club,  at  the  eastern  tip  of  the  breakwater,  stands 
a  MINIATURE  LIGHTHOUSE  of  stone  and  granite  once  publicized  by 
Robert    ("Believe-It-or-Not")    Ripley  as  the  only  municipally  owned 
lighthouse  in  the  world  chartered   by  a   national   government.     The 
granite  in  the  3O-foot-high  tower  came  from  tombstones  in  an  aban- 
doned Lone  Mountain  Cemetery.    A  small  park  area  guarded  by  reclin- 
ing stone  lions  surrounds  the  little  building. 

S.  from  Marina  Blvd.  on  Baker  St. 

202.  Where  indoor  tennis  courts  are  covered  by  the  long  roof  of 
the  PALACE  OF  FINE  ARTS    (open  iveekdays  8:30-11:30;  Sun. 
8-5;  courts  $i  an   hour;  lighted},   foot  of  Lyon   St.,   visitors   to   the 
Panama-Pacific  International  Exposition  of  1915  enjoyed  the  art  treas- 
ures of  the  fair.    The  tan  stuccoed  facade  of  the  semicircular  building 
(outer  circumference    1,100  feet;  width,    135   feet)    and  its   fronting 
peristyle  of  terra-cotta  Corinthian  columns  follow  the  curve  of  a  lagoon 
in  which  water  fowl  glide  about  two  anchored  gondolas.     In  the  center 
of  the  colonnade,  opposite  the  main  entrance,  is  an  ornamental  domed 
rotunda  supported  by  eight  pairs  of  columns  flanking  as  many  arches. 
The  palace's  designer,  Bernard  Maybeck,  is  said  to  have  been  inspired 
by  Brocklin's  painting,  The  Island  of  the  Dead. 

After  the  fair,  in  1918,  the  palace  again  housed  an  art  collection — 
that  of  the  San  Francisco  Art  Commission;  but  after  1921,  when  the 
group  moved  its  exhibit,  the  building  was  allowed  to  deteriorate.  In 
1927  the  Government  deeded  that  ten-acre  portion  of  the  Presidio  on 
which  the  palace  stood  to  the  City  of  San  Francisco,  but  not  until  12 
years  later  did  San  Francisco  begin  to  expend  the  $500,000  necessary 
for  its  restoration. 

The  restored  palace  mirrored  in  the  placid  waters  of  the  lagoon  is 
all  that  remains  of  the  $50,000,000  exposition  that  reached  from  Fort 


RIM     OF     THE     GOLDEN     GATE      309 

Mason  to  the  Presidio.  President  William  Howard  Taft  broke  the 
first  earth  on  the  site  October  14,  1911,  and  four  months  later  issued 
an  invitation  to  all  nations  to  participate  in  this  great  celebration  of  the 
opening  of  the  Panama  Canal.  On  the  early  morning  of  February  20, 
1915,  more  than  150,000  noisily  enthusiastic  persons  marched  through 
the  city  streets  to  the  fairgrounds.  Only  celebrants  who  did  not  walk 
to  the  Scott  Street  gates  were  a  group  of  pioneers  whose  carriage  fol- 
lowed slowly  behind  the  marching  leaders  of  the  two-and-one-half-mile- 
long  parade:  Mayor  James  Rolph,  Jr.,  Governor  Hiram  W.  Johnson, 
and  fair  official  Marshall  Hale  (whose  brother,  Robert,  first  had  sug- 
gested the  celebration  to  Congress  in  a  letter  dated  January  12,  1904). 

Said  a  contemporary  writer  of  the  exposition:  "From  the  city's 
heights  one  looks  down  on  a  facade  three-quarters  of  a  mile  long,  domi- 
nated at  its  center  by  the  lofty  seven-storied  .  .  .  Tower  of  Jewels, 
432  feet  in  height,  and  broken  on  either  side  by  an  open  court  orna- 
mented with  lesser  towers.  As  the  eye  rests  upon  the  rectangular  group, 
eight  great  domes  claim  the  attention,  distinguishing  the  location  of 
an  equal  number  of  exhibit  palaces,  domes  of  sea-green  color,  pale 
against  the  intense  blue  of  the  sky  and  the  bright  red  of  the  tiled  roofs. 
One  notes  that  the  avenue  bisects  the  group  at  right  angles,  widening 
along  the  lateral  axis  into  three  courts  .  .  . 

"And  now  the  eye  withdraws  from  this  central  group-building, 
attracted  by  the  two  domed  structures  in  the  South  Gardens,  Festival 
Hall  and  the  Palace  of  Horticulture.  To  the  east,  rests  the  Palace 
of  Machinery  .  .  .  To  the  west  across  the  still  lake,  and  curving  to  its 
shores  .  .  .  stands  the  Palace  of  Fine  Arts.  .  .  .  Passing  through  the 
main  entrance,  underneath  the  Tower  of  Jewels,  we  enter  the  Court 
of  the  Universe.  Elliptical  in  shape,  700  by  900  feet,  it  contains  a 
sunken  garden  capable  of  seating  seven  thousand  persons,  is  entirely 
surrounded  by  handsome  colonnades  .  .  .  the  facades  of  the  four  palaces 
being  modified  to  form  the  walls  of  the  court.  The  entrance  from 
the  lateral  avenue  on  the  east  and  west  are  surmounted  by  magnificent 
archways.  .  .  .  Passing  westward  along  the  avenue  between  the  palaces 
of  Agriculture  and  Liberal  Arts,  the  visitor  enters  the  Court  of  the 
Four  Seasons.  .  .  .  The  corresponding  court  on  the  east  is  the  Court 
of  Abundance.  Two  minor  courts  open  to  the  south,  that  on  the  east, 
the  Court  of  Flowers;  on  the  west,  the  Court  of  Palms. 

"To  the  north  .  .  .  stretches  the  long  Esplanade,  threaded  with 
walks  and  driveways  .  .  .  while  over  beyond  the  superb  Palace  of  Fine 
Arts  in  bewildering  array  the  dignified  Foreign  Pavilions  and  imposing 
buildings  of  the  states  arrest  the  attention  .  .  ." 

Twenty-five  foreign  nations  contributed  to  the  "bewildering  array," 
many  duplicating  famous  structures  of  their  lands — such  as  Turkey's 
mosque  of  Sultan  Ahmed  I  and  Japan's  sacred  temple  at  Kioto,  Kin  Ka 


3IO      SAN     FRANCISCO 

Ku  Ji.  The  43  states  and  territories  represented  showed  equal  imagi- 
nation: New  York  built  a  Fifth  Avenue  mansion;  New  Jersey,  George 
Washington's  Trenton  Barracks;  California,  a  Spanish  mission. 

Dedicated  to  sheer  fun  was  the  "Zone,"  with  its  $10,000,000  worth 
of  amusement  concessions.  And  in  the  background  the  3,600,000- 
candlepower  scintillator  on  its  special  pier  at  Yacht  Harbor  swept  the 
night  skies  with  color,  painting  the  fog  that  rolled  in  from  the  Bay 
with  every  hue  of  the  rainbow. 

W .  from  Baker  St.  on  Lombard  St.,  which  leads  into  Lincoln  Blvd. 

THE  PRESIDIO  OF  SAN  FRANCISCO,  UNITED  STATES 
MILITARY  RESERVATION  (usually  open  24  hours;  subject  to 
close  without  notice;  speed  limit  20  m.p.h.;  night  parking  prohibited} , 
entered  at  Lincoln  Blvd.  and  Lombard  St.,  is  a  wooded  tract  of  1,540 
acres  extending  from  Lyon  St.  west  to  the  ocean  and  from  West  Pacific 
Ave.  and  Lobos  Creek  north  to  the  rim  of  the  Golden  Gate.  Largest 
military  post  within  a  city's  limits  in  the  United  States,  the  reservation 
includes  general  headquarters  of  the  Ninth  Corps  Area,  fortifications 
hidden  by  sand  dunes  and  heavily  forested  hillsides,  barracks  for  enlisted 
men,  officers'  quarters,  a  guard  house,  recreation  centers,  a  hospital,  a 
cemetery,  sleek  parade  grounds,  aviation  field  and  hangars,  warehouses, 
and  supply  depots.  A  fortified  area  since  1776 — when  it  was  chosen  by 
Juan  Bautista  de  Anza  as  military  headquarters  of  the  soldiers  of 
Charles  III  of  Spain — the  Presidio  has  been  occupied  by  Spanish  gar- 
risons, was  host  to  Fremont's  buckskin-clad  followers,  welcomed  volun- 
teers during  the  Spanish-American  War,  and  trained  doughboys  for 
service  in  the  first  World  War.  In  1906  the  Presidio  became  a  tent  city 
of